Telefone are a band you haven’t heard of before – that’s a near certainty as this is their self-titled debut, but by the sound of it you’d never know. The record is a result of a long-gestating musical collaboration between brothers Justin and Brandon Trapp along with Mac Burrus – fans of each other’s bands who met in LA, played together on a few tour dates of a previous band, then went their separate ways as the brothers relocated to Texas. It wasn’t before a business meeting brought Justin back to LA where he reconnected with Mac and Telefone was born. It’s a bit of a long story, but the result is a ten-track record that sounds expertly crafted by a group of veteran musicians.
“Nevermind” starts off the record with crisp drums, rumbling bass, sinewy guitars and a vocal that sounds Jon Brion-esque. It’s a sunny piece of power pop that’s a great introduction to the band’s sound. That’s followed soon by the kaleidoscopic keys and strummed guitars of “Indigo,” a song wanting to re-acquire lost love. “Be Careful” contains some of the purest Beatles-sounding harmonies put to wax in recent years. It’s irresistible. “Resigned” ups the tempo a little bit with fuzzy guitars and ghostly backing vocals. The record just gaining momentum with this solid, slick songcraft.
Take “Cassandra” for instance. It’s a pure-power pop ballad, something you feel like Big Star could have recorded. Sweet vocals, loud guitars, a solo powering to the heavens. If there’s anything on this album resembles a standard here, this is it. It simply rules.
That goes for the rest of the record. Telefone is a great example of people that know how to write songs that catch your ear and envelope you in. It’s a triumph of pure collaboration between three people that speak the same musical language. Hopefully a second release won’t take as long to gestate as the first, and that this same sense of adventurousness continues and blossoms and keeps on growing. If this album is any indication, it absolutely just might.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media
Listen to Telefone