Toronto's Tallies have been honing their shimmering brand of dreampop for the last five years, drawing from a very specific place and time -- I put it at England from 1987 to 1991 -- when 4AD and Creation were the among the coolest labels around, and dorm rooms walls were decorated with posters of The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, The Cure, and The Stone Roses. Tallies proudly still have those posters on their walls and they aren't shy about those influences (see below), but they've grown as songwriters, performers and arrangers, and use these shimmering sonic touchstones to their own means. Their just-released second album Patina is terrific, and you can listen to that below.

We asked Tallies singer Sarah Cogan to tell us a little more about the influences behind the album, which include The Sugarcubes, Saint Etienne, Ride, Cocteau Twins, The Sundays and more. Read her commentary on her influences list below.

Tallies will be on tour in September and October, including a NYC show at Berlin Under A on October 6. All dates are listed below.


1. The Sugarcubes - "Birthday"
This song commands me in for more with every listen. It gives me the same feelings a swing set gave me at age 10. You push for more height and air and the closer you get to the sky the more accomplished you feel. Bjork's voice is the air that swooshes your hair. It's everything and that's the only way I can describe it. The playful bass is timed so perfectly for head tilts and toe taps, I just can't get enough of this song.

2. Air - Moon Safari
We sprung into this album while on the road. Our 2007 van has a CD player and we can honestly say this album spun round three times in a row, if not more. There are only a few albums out there in the world where you can forgive the person, who is in charge of the music, if they forget to change the cd before it hits track one again; Moon Safari is one of them. It's so beautiful, spunky, soft, and just all around wonderful.

3. The Sundays - "I Won"
The Sundays will forever and always be on any influence sharing list of mine. The Sundays have mastered the soft tones of jangle without overdoing it. This song hits all the right places, melody, riffs, jangle, driving beat. The power behind Harriet's voice is an instrument in itself. I will be raving about this band for the entirety of my life.

4. Ride - "Vapour Trail"
We love the rhythm of this song so much. So much so, that it heavily inspired our track, "No Dreams of Fayres." It's a big and powerful song with bouncy drums that just keep that flow of joy and motion going. There's some melancholy in the voice, but it's almost as if it's overcoming something. Light at the end of the tunnel kind of moment.

5. The Stone Roses – "I Wanna Be Adored"
The Stone Roses are adored by us. We used their drum sound as inspiration for many of our songs. There's just enough driving boom with a hint of a slap. They are so precise in what direction their songs are meant to be felt and how they flow. That's the motivation behind our music as well. They've mastered the "less is more" approach with their music.

6. Cocteau Twins – "Heaven Or Las Vegas"
Any band into dreamy effects, angelic guitars, and anything ethereal are most likely into Cocteau Twins. It's so captivating to listen to sounds and words that sometimes don't make sense, but have so much depth and make sense with emotion. The words you do hear are so striking and pull at almost every heartstring. We are very inspired by this band, rhythmically and melodically.

7. The Ocean Blue - "Between Something and Nothing"
This song inspired some of the riffs on our track, "Hearts Underground." The hook is the driving guitar from the beginning. We love the energy of this song and the poetic writing of this band in general.

8. Alvvays – Antisocialites
We love all sounds from Alvvays. Honestly, can they do anything wrong? The subtlety of driving guitars, layered with sounds of uneasiness. They produce perfect vocal melodies with just the right amount of sadness. The styling of their writing is magic and something we strive to catch up to one day.

9. Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Kiss Them For Me"
There's so much going on in this song, but what stands out to me the most is the vocals. With all the chaos surrounding, they stand out so beautifully and yet never overpowered. This song has this boom quality to it, it's surreal and just sounds so big. I tried to channel my inner Siouxsie Sioux on our track, "Am I The Man."

10. Saint Etienne – "Nothing Can Stop Us Now"
When I listen to Saint Etienne, I feel the warmth of a perfect scarf on a cool day. The vocals sway in that glistening way that caresses. I strive to create such a feeling in our music. Saint Etienne, while not aesthetically too similar to our sound, inspires me with the feelies every time I listen.


Sep 02 - FME, Rouyn Noranda, QC
Sep 03 - Townhouse Tavern, Sudbury, ON
Sep 10 - Supercrawl, Hamilton, ON
Oct 06 - Berlin, NYC, NY
Oct 07 - Tellus360, Lancaster, PA
Oct 08 - Pie Shop, Washington, DC

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