29 October 2015
Tellison - Hope Fading Nightly
This is an album I have been looking forward to reviewing - a few months back, I reviewed a compilation album called 'You Heard It Here First! Rock Vol 1' (Cleverly linked here) which was put together by AmazingRecordCo, which is also part of Amazing Radio. It put together the current cream of the crop of the UK rock/metal scene in one of the best compo's I had heard for a long time, with the track from Tellison being the best of the best. After "Tact Is Dead" was named my top track of 'You Heard It.....', I made decision that I also wanted to check out this album; so here we are with the release of 'Hope Fading Nightly'. Hailing from Bethnal Green, East London, UK, Tellison comprise of Henry Danowski, Stephen Davidson, Peter Phillips & Andrew Tickell and have been together since 2003. This album is their third studio album which has been released on Alcopop records, they have also been making a few waves with reviews in the Independent, Drowned in Sound and Clash Music (to name a few). I have checked out a few of their previous singles and I really enjoyed them as well, so I have high hopes for this album.
Starting the album is "Letter to the Team - Another Imperfect Season" starts the record with an acoustic musing gives this album a gentle opening. It sounds like a resignation is being changed into song in front of the audience; it is a sad lament which automatically grabs your attention with its reflective look at past glories, meaning Keanu Reeves and a sense of regret. It is over quite quickly as well, but it is a song that I have returned to over and over again. "Helix & Ferman" is all about the twenty fifth year of someone who is only known for getting drunk and inside the person feels lonely and empty. It is a great indie rock song that has a classic riff that should be able to get an audience bouncing and to make someone listening to this on their house feel reflective and dig deeper into the lyrics. It has been bouncing around my head for weeks, the bass line is so addictive and I keep repeating it. "Boy" is the third song on the album, it is also the second song which was released as a single from this album; it is a song about realising that someone has actually made you grow up and you were a child when you first met them. There is a hint of violence to the song as well (either metaphorical or real - I am not too sure), there is a huge sense of regret and also a bit of acceptance as well. It is another strong song that has also been going around my head (together with an awful lot of this album - this could turn into a bit of a love letter). The fourth track is called "Wrecker" and this album keeps getting better as it goes on, on this stomping tune we have a confession about being a self-destructive personality and apologising for their self-destructive tendencies that they know will cause them (and others) problems in the future. I know the subject matter is not happy, but the song itself is one that makes me smile and sing along. It is a great number that keeps this album on the right path and shows that "Tact Is Dead" was not a fluke.
"Rookie of the Year" is a lament about failing to live up to earlier promises, bitterness at one's situation and relishing the fact that others will also not reach the dizzy heights that had at one time seemed like a God given right. It is a slow number that gives more and more with each listen, the ending of the song is one of the best hooks of the record and gives this song that edge for me over the rest of the record - the more I listen to this song, the more I am convinced it is the track of the album. It is an outstanding song, truly wonderful. The next song is called "Detective" and it is a song where the singer muses about being a criminal investigator and how his life would be much better as he would not have to take his current situation on his back. It is a massive song that has a big hook of a chorus, it is cut from the same cloth as "Wrecker" was taken from, it sounds like is an anthem in waiting and it really appeals to this listener. Another class song that makes me wonder why I have not heard this band before this year….. “Tact Is Dead” is next and my opinion on this song has not changed, it is a great alternative rock number that has a harder edge than some of the other songs on this record. It was the first song to be released as a single on this record, it is an obvious choice of a single and it sounds just as epic now as the first time I heard it. “Orion” is another song which is questioning relationships, if they are going to work, feeling empty inside and taking a risk on kissing a friend. As an alternative love song, it works so well and gives you an insight to how love can sometimes be incredible hard on people when it comes to trust and being in a position that you can trust yourself (or others) in a relationship. Sometimes you are not with people for a reason, this song is a good example of that and it is also another brilliant song – so far, not one foot wrong.
“Mendokusai” follows the similar pattern for a lot of this album, it is high on emotion and there is a tone of resignation to the song. You have a certain degree of failure to the song and a loss that is not going to be ignored. It is a good song which is sadly surrounded by such gems that it is the track on the album which does not shine as much as it’s brethren, however it is still a song that I love to listen to – when the weakest track on the album is a good track, this is a very positive sign in my books. “Hellhole” is actually a very uplifting song once you get below the surface, on the face of it there is a lot of self-loathing and regret – but when you dig a little deeper, you hear companionship and trust building up. It sounds as if hope is being found and there is a light descending onto the record, giving that smallest chance that somethings might actually work out. All the while this is going on in the lyrics, the music is transforming in front of you into something that sinks in a little deeper after each listen. If it was not for “Rookie of the Year”, this would have been the track of the album – it is still a brilliant song. The penultimate song is called “My Marengo” which deals with the aftermath of saying good bye to a friend or loved one who has passed on by their own hands, together with everything that it can bring to life in your own life. It is a tragic and angry song, I think this is far to say as it is dealing with conflicting emotions that do circulate in these events. The song is another well-crafted number and it can be hard to hear in place, but it is so on the button that it hurts for all the right reasons. Ending the album is “Tsundoku” and this deals with the world of adverts and the world we actually live in; you are told you will be happy if you work really hard, but we all know that is not always the case. It is a song that sounds so unsatisfied with their lot and they are not going to stop until everything is changed and they reach a goal. It is a great ending song, bringing this album to a beautiful conclusion.
This is basically one of my favourite albums on 2015, it is up there with the Sleaford Mods, FFS, The Armed, Kendrick Lemar and others; for all of this album, not one foot is put wrong and the band sound as if they have made an album that needs, nay it demands further listens. It is a great indie rock record, something that sound familiar straight away and also totally refreshing in this world of Little Mix, One Direction and other creatures from Dr Cowell. What this album is doing for me is taking the emotions of these men, pinning it down whilst they dissect, exam it, trying to understand it and then showing it to the world. It is a bruised record and not one to listen to if you are on the edge, or maybe it is as it can show you that you are not alone. I do hope that if you read this you at least check the album out, it really is worth the effort and will not disappoint.
10 out of ten – This is proof that there is a God (and he is a bit upset at the moment)
Top track - Rookie of the Year
You can purchase Hope Fading Nightly from Amazon here
You can visit the Tellison website here
You can visit the Tellison Bandcamp page here, where you can purchase Hope Fading Nightly (and all their other releases as well)
You can follow the activities of Tellison on Facebook
You can stream Hope Fading Nightly on Spotify here
You can stream Hope Fading Nightly on Deezer here
You can stream Hope Fading Nightly on Tidal here
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