July Talk recently announced their much anticipated new album Pray For It, with their first release in four years coming this July 10th, 2020. Continuing the theme of breaking patterns of action and reaction found throughout the record, the band has shared the newest single “Governess Shadow,” a track that explores the dynamics of giving and taking through imbalances of power, wealth and authenticity. The band’s video, directed by Cosette Schulz, with additional animation and VFX by shy kids, premiered at Billboard today and combines powerful imagery in sync with lyrics that howl “through the power and convenience/all that I see is the difference between us.”
Pre-order/pre-save the new album here.
Peter Dreimanis, co-lead vocalist, spoke to Billboard about the meaning behind the song, saying, “This song is about my great-grandmother alice and her two sisters marie and anna, who were sent to finishing school in Moscow as teenagers to learn how to serve the wealthy families of the day. It’s also about the deep imbalances of power in our world, and specifically how people are separated by wealth and gender. I started thinking about this giant shadow that white men can step in and out of whenever it suits us. How we can simply decide when to break the rules and when to recite them. I wanted “Governess Shadow” to raise a flag and a dagger and call out that comfortable complacency.”
Schulz explained the creation of the video, saying “All of the images seen in this video are sourced from magazines published during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. I started with a big ol’ stack of fashion magazines that belonged to Leah’s (co-lead vocalist) grandmother, some worn around the edges, some yellowed with age. There’s an innocence to the design of that time, but underneath that innocence is a whole lot of blatant misogyny. I would like to think that things have changed; we’re starting to see different bodies, ethnicities, and sexual orientations represented, and more varied messaging in general. Things are improving, but we continue to be a bit in the shadow of those earlier decades. The song came with many of these ideas baked in, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help bring those themes to life.”
Black + white and vividly complex, Pray For It is about breaking patterns of action and reaction. Conflict, a major theme throughout, drives the story behind the steel-toed shoegaze swoon of “Pay For It,” out today. “I wrote this song after a group of men violently attacked my friends and bandmates in a fast-food restaurant one late summer night. Their rage erupted quickly and violently, like an old habit,” shares July Talk’s Leah Fay. “This song gave me a chance to reimagine the experience with a sense of agency, to tell it like it is, like it always has been. If we question our ingrained habits which recycle states of violence, greed, destruction and hate, we can disrupt these toxic patterns and heal.”
July Talk continues to rise with purpose and poise. From the start, the band has fostered a community of creators and collaborators on stage, on film and among those also challenging systemic inequities. The band has also grown in their roles as advocates of an urgent and fundamental music industry recalibration, through curatorial partnerships with festivals and by defining their own parameters for safer spaces at rock shows.
Pray For It was produced by Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, The Drones, Julia Jacklin), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck, Metz), David Plowman (Brendan Canning, Young Clancy, Michael Rault), Milan Sarkadi (Mute Choir, Said The Whale) and Ben Fox (Film Composer). It was mixed by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Cat Power, Andy Shauf).
Pre-order the album here.
PRAY FOR IT TRACK LIST:
- Identical Love
- Good Enough
- Life Of The Party
- Pay For It
- Champagne w/ James Baley + Kyla Charter
- Friend Of Mine
- The News
- Governess Shadow
- See You Thru