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July Talk for every season

Toronto band play Longhorn's on Nov. 16
Cutting it close July Talk’s Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay (left), with Ian Docherty, Josh Warburton and Danny Miles. Submitted photo

Interviewing Leah Fay of July Talk is like chatting outside on a summer's day. She's warm and sunny, even over the phone from wintery Nelson.

"This is our fifth or sixth time across Canada in maybe 14 months! We go out for three weeks or a month at time and then we're home for a month or two and then we go out again," Fay says.

Together for just over two years, Fay and Peter Dreimanis front the band and are ably backed by Ian Docherty, Josh Warburton and Danny Miles.

Fay describes their music as "rowdy rock and roll that is based on a conversation."

They re-released their debut album, also called July Talk, in October, a year after it first came out.  This partly because touring has helped "form the essence" of the band and their following has grown. And what Fay calls the differences in her stage style compared to Dreimanis only came out after they hit the road.

"We only did one other headlining tour and that was a year ago. The change has been really fast and the reception has been great. The first time we went across Canada on our own, some cities like Calgary and Vancouver were pretty receptive and usually the number of people who came to the shows was completely mind blowing. Some small towns we'd go to, there would be some people there who liked us and the crowds would be seven or eight people," Fay says.

"But this time around it has been really great so far. Most of the shows have been sold out and close to sold out."

July Talk started the current 30-date tour at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York and the stop at the Longhorn in Whistler on Nov. 16, about halfway through. She says they're excited and is happy to hear the mountains are about to open because "we dabble in snowboarding."

Fay says she and Dreimanis met in a bar after he heard her play and sing.

"He had been touring in bands and so had I, a little folk-art band with a friend, our introduction to each other was completely based on him hearing me sing and me hearing him sing and asking if we could make music together. We're best friends," she says.

New material has been developing on the road "in little sprouts of ideas," Fay says, and they will pool all their ideas after Christmas and "they'll turn into real song."

She adds: "In January, we're heading to our favourite little town in Ontario called Burnstown... We going to go there and lock ourselves in a cabin, all five of us, and make some music and write."

Asked if they've won any nominations or awards yet for their music, Fay says, "Yeah. No. We're still babies." Cue giggles.

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