“One of those debut singles that is so sit-up-and-listen stunning, you find yourself playing it again and again” Sunday Times Culture
“It's got an appealingly naive quality and yet somehow, simultaneously, an intangibly erotic essence.” Guardian New Band of the Day
“Effortlessly charming... Perfect pop music” DIY Class of 2014
“Our favourite new guitar-pop band” Time Out's One To Watch 2014
Teleman – “Tele”, from the Greek for “distance” – are a band you're invited to, not inundated with. Their sparse, welcoming minimalist synth tones, gentle motorik beats and balloon-light melodies seeped quietly onto the radio last year and hypnotized the alt-pop nation. Their festival sets of 2013 (including Glastonbury and Latitude) drew an attentive, fascinated fanbase who already knew the words to unreleased songs. And their lyrics – stream-of-consciousness character tales and dream imagery – vividly invite your own interpretation.
From the pared-back “Cristina”, to the modernist proposition of “Steam Train Girl” (both former singles which clocked up plays across Radio 1 and earned themselves Playlist spots on BBC 6Music and Xfm) and new track “Lady Low”, variety abounds on “Breakfast”. Elsewhere is the sweeping psych pop of “23 Floors Up” – a song of high-rise hotel passions and paranoia – and the startling 'Mainline', a warped, electro-fied chain-gang blues full of visions of burning seas, secret gangs and luminous lovers. “It's like visions from a dream in places,” singer Thomas Sanders explains. “I love really strong images. You hear a lyric and as soon as the lyric is said you see it in front of you.”
“A lot of the lyrics are based on personal experience, but a lot of it, is story-telling and a lot of it is fiction,” says Thomas. “I really like double-meaning or other interpretations. I'm purposefully ambiguous. Sometimes you write a song and you don't think about the lyrics again for years until someone asks you what it”s about. I love listening to other people”s interpretations”. If that's what they”ve understood then that is a meaning in itself. In the same way as if you look at a painting and you see something, you've definitely seen it, it's definitely real for you.”
As is fitting for the most understated yet enthralling new band in the country, Teleman came together almost by osmosis. Thomas, his keyboardist brother Jonny and bassist Pete Cattermoul found themselves adrift in London when the two guitarists left their previous band, Pete and the Pirates, but weren't ready to stop playing music together. As a three-piece working with a drum machine, they found far more space and freedom in the music they could make. “It was quite liberating, because smaller numbers have quite an interesting dynamic to them,” says Pete. Playing a few shows live with a drum machine made them feel “tied down”, however, until one key gig at the Old Blue Last introduced them to the support act's drummer Hiro Amamiya (“we poached him in an amicable way”).