You wouldn’t normally think that two lead voices, one an almost guttural, raspy growl at times, and the other high, smooth, and sweet would result in a perfect combination of sounds, but the hard, abrasive elements and more calm, harmonious ones come together in an incredibly powerful way. Peter Dreimanis’ rough, aggressive vocals are like a raging fire, kept in check by Leah Fay’s lovely, dulcet tones.
As with their eponymous debut album, the songs on Touch are packed full of emotion and all have their own feel and character, displaying the diversity of July Talk’s style. Both the music and lyrics are impactful and memorable — you’ll likely find yourself humming or singing a song hours later. “Picturing Love” and “Push + Pull” are incredibly catchy and almost demand to be danced to, and Dreimanis screaming (and Fay whispering) variations of “She loves me, she loves me not / He loves me, he loves me not” during “Beck + Call” can easily induce goosebumps. Killer bass, hard beats, and electric guitar licks are found throughout, and the implementation of piano, keyboard, and several different percussion instruments makes their music even more fresh and stand-out amid the sea of often generic sounds found on the radio today. Dreimanis and Fay both show off their vocal range as well, often switching up roles; some examples including him cooling down a bit during soft, hypnotic “Strange Habit” and parts of the bewitching “Touch,” and her unleashing a little more in-your-face aggression for “So Sorry” and “Johnny + Mary.”
Touch is a beautifully passionate album about relationships, loneliness, longing, and the desire to feel connected — a line from “Now I Know” summarizes this overarching theme rather well: “Everybody living is dying for love.”