Teleman - Brilliant Sanity

Teleman – Brilliant Sanity

I remember watching Franz Ferdinand on the Jonathan Ross Show about seven years ago. I quite liked them, but I remember my Sister saying “Hum….they’re quite neat aren’t they?” not exactly a massive insult but still, a band being ‘neat’ seems somehow, a little, boring?

Why am I saying this? Well, in some respects neat is an adjective I would attach to Teleman and their new album Brilliant Sanity, largely because of their “dogged pursuit of the perfect Pop hook” which, while an honourable task, leads to a neat, sound which a lot of Indie or Rock bands seem to be aspiring to these days.

Since when did it become cool for Indie bands to say that they wanted to sound like a Pop group? Was it around the time baggy combat trousers stopped being cool? Or when Madonna and Britney had that snog? I’m struggling to find the root causes of it but it seems to have been going on a while.

Can you even be called an Indie band if you want to sound like polished Pop? An interesting case in point is American band We Are Scientists whose keyboard player left the band so he could go and join Katy Perry. When We Are Scientists recorded their new album they had the keyboard player back so he could produce it and they could access ‘the sweet Katy Perry syrup’ he was now an expert on. Ah that’s sweet isn’t it? Kind of, but it also makes me feel kind of, sick.

The irony of trying to be liked by a lot of people is that sometimes you end up being loved by no- one, catchy is cool, of course but where’s the soul and the spirit and the spontaneity that comes with a lot of good Rock or Indie? I think there’s a lot to be said for getting lost in music an opportunity which, Teleman rarely provide because everything is so well thought out and precise.

When they go off the Pop scent, it’s usually with the less up- beat tunes such as Melrose where the synths add layers of darkness, or Canvas Shoe where the lyrics are a little more reflective. I’m not saying Pop doesn’t have its place and everyone should pray at the altar of grunge and shoegaze because that’s more ‘real’ but the tracks where Teleman abandon the Pop box ticking exercise, are the ones that I enjoy the most.

Teleman are talented and can achieve a lot by the mere fact that they’re capable of turning out a perfect Pop hook, but once you know the conventions of something you can then subvert them and make something a little messier and a lot more interesting.

Release Date: 8th April 2016 (Moshi Moshi Records)

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When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?