Teleman is one of the coolest bands I’ve discovered in a very long time, there’s something just so intrinsically interesting about them. Formed back in 2011 after the disbanding of the band Pete and the Pirates, where bandmates Thomas and Johnny Sanders, Peter Cattermoul and new drummer Hiro Amamiya combined forces to become one of the most innovative artists of our time.
There’s a quality to Teleman that’s so ’70s and so modern at the same time that’s just irresistible, that being said if you’re a fan of bands such as Arcade Fire, Metronomy and New Order then Teleman should be the next band on your list of artists who’ll rearrange your perspective on music. Upon releasing 2014’s Breakfast, the band have toured with the likes of Suede, Kaiser Chiefs as well as Belle and Sebastian just to name a few.
With Cristina, the band’s debut single, you get a vibe for who Teleman are. That mix of synth and indie guitar carrying this hefty song through your ears, tied together by the diverse and tender sounding vocals of Thomas Sanders. Indie pop is such a broad genre that normally gets buttered up, but with Teleman there’s a mix of rawer energy within their music that enforces such a focused identity that’s so particularly them.
Meanwhile, they’ve certainly figured out who they are and where to go next, take their latest album Family Of Aliens, and according to the band was a more involved writing process between them, which clearly worked for the best because Family Of Aliens is a brilliant album and one of my highlights of 2018, with some of their strongest work to date. The track Cactus brings that characteristic charm Teleman, edging on the airwaves of alluring yet hypnotic. It’s a development of sound that’s clear when you hear their albums back to back, but it’s superbly familiar.
Going back one album to Brilliant Sanity, the opening track Düsseldorf with its slick performance races to pump adrenaline throughout your body. There’s a time and a place for “ah just play harder, turn the amps up” for showing the power of a performance, but Teleman manages to know exactly how to level their sound. The guitars aren’t in your face, they’re not Boss Metal Zone’d, instead they’re driven just enough to add the right amount of bite and attitude, and what this means is the song hypes you up and you feel the weight of it hit you, despite it being a calmer soundscape. It’s a power that’s truly unique and not many artists quite figure it out so it makes for such an impactful listening experience.
Skeleton Dance from the band’s debut album starts with such an exhilarating intro, those loose and jangly guitars that almost spit out at you, the saturation of that riff on the threshold against the velvety vocals that carry the song is just so tranquillizing. And then with the combination of thick synths, drum machines and a live kit, just swirls around your brain in such a manner you do disconnect from the world for three and a half minutes.
Between The Rain is one of the more ’70s sounding tracks, but mastered to your modern-day specs. The piano-centric song complimented by the twangy driven guitar solo emoting the sounds you’d hear on an early Bowie record like Hunky Dory. It’s also got one of my favourite lines being;
“Good times always end if you sing too soon
Oh, how I love the silence when I’m with you”
Something about that simplicity and realism along with the bouncy vibe of the track just matches so well.
So with all that in mind… What are you still doing here? You’ve heard what Teleman can do, and you’ve barely scratched the surface. Revitalise that pure indie-pop sensation of the early 2010s and process the power that lies ahead with whatever Teleman dare to bring out next.