The day The Overcast Launched on January 9th, 2014, one of its inaugural articles was a review of gala’s striking debut EP, Young Hymns. Fronted by Aley Waterman, galaa is back now, over 3 years later, with an extra a in their name, “to avoid copyright problems” and what is clearly a carefully crafted, not-rushed Sophomore effort.
The album is tentatively titled The Speech, won’t be out until early summer, and may or may not be on a label. Who knows. What we do know is it sounds great and reflects the realized promise hinted at on Galaa’s debut EP. 2016 was the year that launched Repartee to national acclaim, and now, with the right backing, 2017 may be the year galaa get the national recognition they deserve. It’s the exact opposite type of pop, but just as polished, refined, and poised for praise.
The track leaked here, “Ender,” is a study in the emotive power of subtlety and restraint in building lush soundscapes for listeners to get lost in. It was the product of the right creative collaboration too. “Ender” was produced by Romesh Thavanathan (tiny emperor), and it was written/played by Aley, Adam Hogan (guitars), Ashley Chalmers (drums), and Romesh (keys).
“It’s hard to really say ‘who played what’ on this song because it was basically myself, Romesh, and Hogan in a room trying out different sounds and parts for so long that there’s an intense creative overlap that goes on in many of the songs on the album. It’s kind of hard to parse.”
Aley left Newfoundlander to live in Toronto a while back; her friend Ewan Kay of Blockbuster Records ended up producing a couple of the songs as well. Austin Tufts, the drummer of Braids, also makes an appearance on some of the songs.
“One of the big themes the album grapples with,” Waterman says, “is the space between the imagined and the real. I feel like conceptually and lyrically it’s kind of a liminal space record, written in a time when I was wondering what types of emotions and things endured and persisted over time.”
“Ender” has a line in it about desire, “Death is the feeling you get when you win.” She says it’s a sentiment that several songs on the album return to.
“If desire, not just sexual or romantic, but in any form, including material, is a feeling that only happens in absence (meaning that you can’t technically desire something once you have it), then how do we move past desire in a meaningful way?”