Telemonster has been around since 2010, created by cousins Ben VanderHart, on guitar and vocals, and Josh Barrett, on drums. They were then joined by bassist John-Michael Forman and pianist Dave Hess. The Chattanooga band released their album, ‘Introspecter, Pt. 1’, in January, and the latest single from the band, ‘For Someone Not So Old’, is out now.
‘For Someone Not So Old’ is a gloriously ethereal shoegaze track, with mystical gossamer light vocals and non-invasive instrumentation. It’s an inviting sort of track, calling you in with tinkling bell synths and gentle percussive elements; dreamy and evocative: there’s a sort of lullaby effect to the song, which should come as no surprise given in the past 4 years the various members of the band has produced 8 children as well as this record.
In defining the sound we’ve already mentioned shoegaze – this genre has even been given a shoutout in the lyrics to this song,
And you were staring at the soles of my shoes
Said, “Are you walking somewhere new?”
But there’s more to it than just that. In parts we’re reminded of Gary Numan, and others we hearken back to prog rock, the likes of Peter Gabriel vintage Genesis – even Fleetwood Mac. There’s a simplicity in the sound, which underlies the truth that it’s very complex indeed – layer upon layer of sound is built up, starting with some simple synths, until it’s a very pleasing, aural experience.
Telemonster’s first release was their eponymous EP in 2011, which was followed by the self-released ‘A Girl I Knew’, the following year. Although ‘Introspecter’ is their first release since 2012, the group hasn’t been idle. They’ve had the aforementioned families, and also built a studio, started a record label, taught economics (!), made pottery…and basically took stock of their lives. ‘Introspecter’ takes this into account in a way; it’s a play on words meaning “one who looks inwards” as well as “the ghost within”, and the album takes a deeper look at the dark side of human nature. Telemonster recorded ‘Introspecter’ in their home studios and in old churches in the Chattanooga area, and some of the etherealness of ‘For Someone Not So Old’ may well be owed to that. Even if it’s not the case, it’s certainly something you’re going to want to listen to a few times (at least) in order to get your head around the layering of the track.
The song is accompanied by a music video which is just as repeat-worthy to get the full gist of what is going on. The band are shot against backdrops of old time films, often those involving arguments, conflicts. The films are sometimes projected on the shirts of the band members, other times the band is just getting in the way of the films on the wall behind them. There’s a feeling of intervention in the song, the singer is intervening with some other person and discouraging them from harming themselves – in a way this is reflected in the video, with the band members intervening.
You can find out more about Telemonster, their latest album ‘Introspecter, Pt 1’, and their latest release, ‘For Someone Not So Old’ on their official website.
Watch the video ‘For Someone Not So Old’ below: