Release Date: Apr 8, 2016
Record label: Moshi Moshi Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
If Teleman's debut album, Breakfast, found Thomas and Jonny Sanders and Pete Cattermoul branching out after their time in Pete & the Pirates, then Brilliant Sanity is all about refinement. Working with producer Dan Carey, the men of Teleman (who also include drummer Hiro Amamiya) focused Breakfast's airy pop and chugging rock into songs that are honed, but not necessarily tamed. The results are quirky yet classic-sounding English guitar pop full of a nervy essence and hooks that sneak up on listeners' ears and stay there.
The emergence of Teleman in 2014 felt like something to get excited about. The U.K. quartet's stream of infectious early singles—including the sublime "Cristina"— pointed to something very special. Yet, while good, debut LP Breakfast was never able to capitalize on this early promise. In truth ….
Teleman’s brilliant second album is proof of the desirability of letting musicians develop. Three members of the quartet were previously in the unrelentingly OK indiepop group Pete and the Pirates, all jangling guitars and cloying sweetness over their two albums. As Teleman, they dropped the jangle and brought a pleasingly Anglicised version of motorik to the fore.
Listing “the dogged pursuit of the perfect hook” as a driving force behind their music, everything Teleman do is crafted to worm its way under your skin. The follow-up to 2014 debut ‘Breakfast’, ‘Brilliant Sanity’ is an embellished venture through the unmistakable sound the four-piece have forged for themselves. Having established an aesthetic that’s so very distinctly them, Teleman show no fear when it comes to pushing boundaries.
Teleman remain somewhat reminiscent of the heady days a decade ago where clutches and clutches of bands disappeared as quickly as they appeared, chasing sounds to make people stamp their feet on the sticky floors of over-crowded indie nights across the country. Opener “Dusseldorf” certainly wouldn’t have been out of place back then, as many sounds chased the clear and prominent vocals of Bloc Party, the simple and tightly wound guitar of Foals and the haranguing of the Rakes. Maybe this is not altogether surprising, with half of the band born from a band from that era.
Album number two from Teleman delivers a few subtle but significant changes; essentially though, it's business as usual for the wonky-pop quartet. Happily, the quirky musical moments that characterised the London band's 2014 debut Breakfast are sprinkled over Brilliant Sanity, resulting in 11 pleasingly playful songs. Teleman's clean synth, bass and drum arrangements are ramped up this time around - perhaps the touch of producer Dan Carey (Bat For Lashes, Nick Mulvey, Django Django) - but all in all, they still sit politely with the sanguine vocals and guitar of Johnny Sanders.
2014 saw the return of Reading’s Pete And The Pirates, albeit in a different guise, this time under the moniker of Teleman, a name taken from an 18th century German composer. The Bernard Butler produced debut album, Breakfast, was a solid first step filled with infectious poppy numbers. Admittedly, the songs could potentially grate after excessive plays but, in moderation, they were a lot of fun and easily digested, even if one cut – Lady Low – did horrifyingly recall Orville’s Song by Keith Harris and his cutesy green duck.
Our latest installment of Quick Takes may be up a little bit later than usual, but bear with us - with so many surprise releases, from Radiohead to James Blake to Drake, we've been just as overwhelmed as all of you trying to keep up. But that doesn't stop us from acknowledging some records that we ….