Brilliant Sanity is the sophomore album by indie/synth pop four-piece Teleman, following on from their 2014 debut Breakfast. Though it is just their second release, three quarters of the band have gravitated from noughties indie rock band Pete & The Pirates, and their current music definitely demonstrates their experience in curating catchy, mind-lodging music. Their newest album delivers the same automated, yet charismatic sound that outlined their previous record. This time around though, with a more fastidious approach, triumphing in their “dogged pursuit of the perfect hook”.
The album opens with the immediately catchy illuminated tones of Dusseldorf, a track that listens with the nostalgia you only tend to feel upon recalling a song from your childhood, expecting to know every word to its infectious chorus. It is here that Teleman introduce the fluid drum patterns that hold up the entire album, right through to its vibrant closer Devil In My Shoe. But it is the bands flair for production, propelled by Dan Carey (Bat For Lashes/Nick Mulvey/Kate Tempest) that really acts as the backbone of this album. They curate an array of earworm tunes by drowning buoyant pop jingles in ethereal, and sometimes-spooky synths that are instantly gripping.
Led by rhythmically demanding guitar melody, and splattered with mechanical synth all over its chorus, Superglue is a song with confidence, sass and the staying power of an 80s pop favourite. Fall In Time is a song with an addictive, repetitive bridge of “I can’t afford/Cant afford not to fight/No” fading into the final chorus, as the inescapable spiral of airy, rippling drums and slow-creeping synth drives the song into your memory. But although each song is primarily a hook-driven pop song, Teleman are far from one-dimensional with their sound on Brilliant Sanity. An appetisingly heavy tune in comparison with the rest of the album, Tangerine is complete with aggressive indie-rock guitars and an alluring melody, but all wrapped up in their trademark electronic soundscapes.
Drop Out pairs a funky, reverb heavy bass line with Sanders’ chilling drawls to curate a suspenseful, moody number that defies expectation. And with its plodding beat and earnest keyboard, Melrose is another rewarding deviation by Teleman, as they branch away from their typical pop song blueprint, to a sound that is somewhat relatable to early Twenty One Pilots. There are a few wobbles on the record; Canvas Shoe is rather anticlimactic, with a slow-building slope of sound that doesn’t really build up to anything, and the title track lacks the substance of the rest of the album. But even with wobbles accounted for, Brilliant Sanity remains if anything, endearingly wonky, complete with more than one song you won’t be able to avoid humming in the shower.