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A band capable of combining indie and dance sounds with plenty of idiosyncratic charm, Teleman make music that is as thoughtful as it is playful. Growing out of 2000s London indie rockers Pete & the Pirates, the band traded the former group's brash style for a more nuanced approach. On 2014's debut album Breakfast, their wandering pop reflected their newfound freedom; on 2016's Brilliant Sanity, they united tightly wound rock and electronic experiments with a surplus of hooks. As the 2010s became the 2020s, Teleman's love of dance music grew increasingly important to their style, and 2018's Family of Aliens and 2023's Good Time/Hard Time paired electronic sounds with warm, witty songwriting. Shortly after Pete & the Pirates disbanded in 2012, vocalist/guitarist Thomas Sanders, his keyboardist brother Jonny, and bassist Pete Cattermoul formed Teleman, taking the band's moniker from an album by composer Georg Philipp Telemann that they spotted in a thrift shop. With drummer Hiro Amamiya completing the lineup, Teleman's demos revealed a wry, melodic take on guitar pop that nodded to legends like the Beach Boys and contemporaries such as Django Django. The group soon signed to Moshi Moshi Records, and their debut single "Christina," was released as part of the label's Singles Club in 2013. Produced by Bernard Butler, Teleman's debut album Breakfast arrived in 2014 and reached number 65 on the U.K. Albums chart. In addition to touring with groups including Suede, Metronomy, and Franz Ferdinand, the band released the 2015 single "Strange Combinations." For their second album, Teleman worked with producer Dan Carey, and honed their songwriting as well as their arsenal of synths, focusing on the Mellotron, the Roland Jupiter, and the Korg Trident. April 2016's lively Brilliant Sanity peaked at 51 on the U.K. Albums chart and featured the singles "Fall in Time" and "Düsseldorf." On the following year's Fünf EP, Teleman went further in an electronic direction and collaborated with a different producer (Timothy J. Fairplay, Ghost Culture, Bullion, Boxed In, and Moscoman) on each of its five tracks. The band incorporated some of these dance leanings, along with a more exploratory and collaborative approach to songwriting, on their third album Family of Aliens. Debuting at number 40 on the U.K. Albums chart upon its September 2018 release, it was the band's highest-charting album to date. The following May, Family of Remixes appeared, featuring reworkings of the album's tracks by sir Was, C.A.R., Seven Davis, Jr., and Teleman themselves. In September 2020, Jonny Sanders amicably departed Teleman to focus on his music, film, and design work as Prehuman. That year, other members of the band issued solo releases: Thomas Sanders, who had previously worked under the name Tap Tap, delivered the solo album Only Magic as Tom Sanders; as Hiro Ama, Amamiya released the EP Uncertainty. For their first release as a trio, November 2021's Sweet Morning EP, Teleman recruited Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and Al Doyle as producers. With Cattermoul on keyboards and Amamiya juggling live and electronic percussion, the EP reflected a more streamlined and direct sound than the band's previous work. Teleman elaborated on this direction with April 2023's Good Time/Hard Time, a fusion of the danceable sounds of Giorgio Moroder, Metronomy, and early house music with reflections on the importance of friendship and the preciousness of life.
© Heather Phares /TiVo
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