Teleman announce a new EP titled ‘Sweet Morning’ out via Moshi Moshi Records on 5th November: moshimoshi.plctrmm.to/rar
“It was important just to get some new music out sooner rather than later,” says Thomas Sanders, the singer and guitarist of Teleman. “Making an EP felt like we could be more spontaneous and try things out without the pressure and expectation surrounding an album release. So it was a more fun experience I’d say.”
The opener ‘Right As Rain’ combines taut guitar work, sparse rhythms and a soaring vocal take to explore the murky middle ground where contentment and hollowness are often inseparable. “I felt especially over lockdown like life was becoming an endless series of little vignettes of short lived moments of pleasure punctuating a weird void,” says Sanders. “I think quite a few other people felt the same way and I hope people can relate to it.”
However, a fleeting, throwaway stop gap this is not. The EP is as realised a piece of work as any the band have created. Although the sense of fun, spontaneity, and intuition that Sanders speaks of can be palpably felt across the breezy five tracks here that span art rock, electronic pop and that unshakable idiosyncratic tone that is always unmistakably Teleman.
Despite possessing such a distinct sense of tone and personality in all that they do, the band are also keen collaborators having previously worked with producers Dan Carey, Bernard Butler, Bullion, Moscoman and Boxed In. Here they are working with Al Doyle and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip on production duties. “They created a super relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere to work in, it was all about experimentation and fun” says Sanders. “We’ve been mutual admirer’s of each others’ bands for quite some time so it seemed to us like a really good pairing.”
The EP has come after the band’s keyboard player Jonny Sanders left the group to focus on his film and design work (he actually directs the new video for ‘Right As Rain’ from the EP). However, the forced recalibration of the band’s line-up has reinvigorated them as a unit, opening new areas for exploration and possibilities with Peter Cattermoul taking over most of the keyboard duties and Hiro Amamiya sliding seamlessly between drum machine, live drums and even the odd keyboard solo. “The fact we’ve lost a member forced us to be a bit more flexible and open about how we approach playing the songs,” says Sanders. “You have to try and turn events like this around and make them work for not against you.
The video comes courtesy of the departing Jonny who explains the clown concept. “Our first idea was to portray multiple characters using only the band members – an influence being Cindy Sherman. When we saw her clown characters we were inspired to strip the idea back to its bare bones and have Tom lip sync as a clown. No explanation and little context. The black and white came afterwards when I felt that the colour of a clown is too much of a distraction to the concept. I wanted this clown to seem grey and hopeless, at least until the jubilant ending.”
Video by Prehuman