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DIY Discovery | Telemonster

This Tennessee quartet's second album is the equivalent of an engrossing novel.

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Most of the music I hear is sent to me by labels and publicists. But there’s nothing like getting it straight from the source. Welcome to the latest instalment of DIY Discovery, where I introduce you to artists who have sent me their music directly (and who don’t suck — that’s definitely part of the deal too). If you’d like to get in on this action, no problemo: Just click go to the Submit Music page, fill out the form and hit send. Or email me. I can’t promise I’ll feature you, but if you’re as awesome as you think you are, it could happen. You never know. But first, check out the well-composed artist below:

NAME: Telemonster

HOME: Chattanooga, Tenn.

LATEST RELEASE: Their grandly ambitious sophomore album Introspecter (Part 1)

MY PITHY DESCRIPTION: Beautifulfilling orchestralchemy

SEVEN ADJECTIVES FOR THEIR MUSIC: Gorgeous, lush, layered, sophisticated, understated, poised, literate

MY REVIEW: Referring to most pop and rock songs as compositions is a bit of a stretch. Not this time. Even the most casual spin of Telemonster‘s second full-length leaves no doubt that this Tennessee orch-pop quartet — led by singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, engineer, mixer, label owner, graphic designer and (one can only assume) butcher, baker and candlestick maker Ben VanderHart — operates at a level far above and beyond that of your typical indie band. These songs clearly have been slowly, lovingly and painstakingly crafted with the utmost care and attention to mood, tone, texture, detail and effect. Set to delicately syncopated rhythms and stirring melodies, fashioned out of a rich amalgam of genres from pop and rock to jazz and classical, dotted with strings and horns, stylishly and atmospherically produced, and — perhaps most importantly — delivered with tender sincerity and intelligent wordplay (Sample song title: Promise of Walking / Premise of Waking), Introspecter (Part 1) is the sonic equivalent of an engrossing novel by a master wordsmith. Not bad for a band that shares a name with an anime series about a werewolf, a frog and a robot.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:Introspecter (implying both “one who looks inward” and “a ghost within”) explores the darker side of human nature. Against the backdrop of workaday life, it grapples with those insidious impulses that most of us hide or perhaps refuse to acknowledge altogether.

“Drawing comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear and Vampire Weekend, the music reflects the many influences at work in the band. The songs are melodic like classical and catchy like pop, but underscored by complex jazz rhythms and the raw energy of rock ’n’ roll.”

NOW HEAR THIS:

NOW SEE HERE: