Teleman caused quite a stir with their debut album “Breakfast” in 2014. Kooky melodies and fluent harmonies co-starred alongside tender, emotive compositions, and in its entirety became an irresistible, intricate creation.
Although I adore that album, I have nevertheless been keenly anticipating something new from Teleman for some time now. I was, therefore, overjoyed when their new album “Brilliant Sanity” landed in my email inbox. There was also a slight amount of apprehension – I hoped that this new album would at the very least match the endearing qualities that “Breakfast” possesses, but also that it would show progression and growth.
Written in their Homerton studio and recorded in South London with producer Dan Carey (who has worked with artists such as Bat for Lashes, Kate Tempest and Nick Mulvey), Teleman approached “Brilliant Sanity” from a different angle, with the desire to bring songwriting to the fore being the motivation for the album. Carey brought a new perspective, too, encouraging the band to incorporate the fundamental synthesiser sounds of the Mellotron, the Roland Jupiter and the Korg Trident. This new outlook and opportunity to experiment was grasped immediately, providing the guys with the ability to be uninhibited in turning their vision into something tangible.
Album opener “Dusseldorf” has whimsical, eccentric pop moves reminiscent of the likes of A-ha, and shoe-horns in a Pet Shop Boy here and there. It’s almost disorientating in its electronic dreaminess.
This takes us effortlessly into the next track, “Fall in Time”, which consists of curious, poetic lyrics sensitively placed within an understated, elegant tune and wistful harmonies.
The standout track from the album for me is “Glory Hallelujah”. A rousing but ever-so slightly dark tune coupled with a certain bitterness and regret lyrically. Very clever, and definitely my kind of thing.
Collectively, these songs give me an image of Weezer fumbling around a synthesiser shop whilst co-existing with New Order and harnessing a sanitised 21st century Gary Newman sensibility. At the same time, they’ve yet again skilfully avoided coming across as twee or nursery rhyme like, which is always a risk with sweet sounding vocals and music.
“Tangerine” is another work of genius – keyboards emanating Ancient Chinese sounding music (I like to think they had a Guzheng in the studio) with a sumptuous, rich bassline and perfect interjections of electronica. Sublime.
“Brilliant Sanity” is chock full of lush soundscapes, with snifters of Kraftwerk at times and sounds sentimentally akin to Sgt. Pepper’s era Beatles at other points. In their recording breaks, Teleman made for the roof and used Dan’s telescope to set their eyes upon the night sky. “It had,” Sanders says, “a very calming and settling influence.” This is evident in the new music, where there is both an angelic innocence and a mature space surrounding each song. It has met, nay exceeded, all of my expectations.
Teleman are currently touring – click here to grab tickets to one of the following shows:
2016 UK Tour
Saturday 2nd April – Wardrobe, Leeds^
Sunday 3rd April – Think Tank, Newcastle^
Monday 4th April – King Tuts, Glasgow^
Tuesday 5th April – Gorilla, Manchester^
Thursday 7th April – Sugarmill, Stoke^
Friday 8th April – Rainbow, Birmingham*
Saturday 9th April – Portland Arms, Cambridge*
Monday 11th April – Open, Norwich^
Tuesday 12th April – Bodega, Nottingham^
Wednesday 13th April – Old Market, Brighton^
Thursday 14th April – Koko, London^
Friday 15th April – Marble Factory, Bristol^
Monday 18th April – Point Ephemere, Paris
Tuesday 19th April – La Peniche, Lille
Friday 22nd April – Paradiso, Amsterdam
Saturday 23rd April – Molotow, Hamburg
Sunday 24th April – Vega Ideal Bar, Copenhagen
Monday 25th April – Privatclub, Berlin
Tuesday 26th Aprlil – Strom, Munich
Thursday 28th April – Chelsea, Vienna
Friday 29th April – Tender Club, Florence
Saturday 30th April – Covo Club, Bologna
Sunday 1st May – Splashdown Festival, Pesaro
Tuesday 3rd May – Ziegel Oh Lac, Zurich
Wednesday 4th May – La Graviere, Geneva
19 – 21st May – The Great Escape, Brighton
27 – 29 – Scarborough Scarborough Fair Arts & Music
* Oscar supports
^ NZCA Lines supports