Telyscopes – Close Types

On “Close Types”, Telyscopes seems to meticulously explore and refine their sound, resulting in a far reaching but cohesive EP. The band had dabbled in combinations like these in their previous work, but here, mixing lo-fi electronic, indie, and folk, Telyscopes has found their sonic sweet spot. The EP is loaded with unexpected textures and juxtapositions accompanying singer Jack Hubbell’s strange and almost disorienting writing style.

The EP opens with the bouncing dissonance of “Damaged DNA”, which begins with a strange canon made of pitched vocal samples and a simple but effective drum beat. Lyrically, as with many of the songs on the album, “Damaged DNA” is hard to decipher. It reads as a stream of consciousness diary entry of someone who fears the passing of time-a theme which appears throughout Close Types. This is supported in lines like “It never slows/it never stops” and “Time is real estate you can’t buy back”, but is hard to find in the anecdotal wandering of the majority of the song. Sonically, it’s an interesting and appealing mix of grooves and aesthetics. There’s an infectious swell of energy throughout the song, but the words sometimes seem like an awkward fit, as if they were the last part added to the song. The lack of rhyme is a bold choice, but falls flat when the structural stability of the phrases come into question.

The third track, “Now That I’ve Found It” is a standout on the EP. The song is in constant flux, never settling for too long in one place. Opening with a jittering sampled drum loop, the song somehow finds itself to be a piano ballad during the bridge. The songs structure is unusual but highly effective, the vocal melody calmly circles full space of the song, handled in
full consideration of where it’s been and where it’s going. The song comes across as somewhat of a fable, telling the story of the speakers intense and cyclical relationship with an unnamed addiction, the chorus speaking perfectly on the highly relatable frustration of these kinds of problems.

Now that you’ve found it, you know it’s not what you had wanted/
But when you are without it, you’ll stop at nothing till you’ve found it

The song is so fittingly constructed in its circular nature, it becomes a self sustaining work on its own, making it a staple of the EP.

“Scarecrow/Perfume” is an odd fit, as it stands out being strictly indie/folk influences, largely abandoning the lo-fi and electronic elements that appear earlier in the EP. A campy yet grim meditation on death, the song features a classic folk storytelling quality. The writing in this song seems slightly more focused, unifying itself on questions about futility, time and whether the speaker’s grave will have a pun on it.

Though the EP is only 6 tracks, it covers a lot of territory. It’s clear that as a whole, “Close Types” features a lot of experimentation, some parts of it more successful than others. As an EP however, this is a thoughtfully constructed, adventurous, and pensive bending of genre. While the writing was a little too much for itself at times, Telyscopes has a lot to say, and a singular way of saying it.

PROS:

  • Great aesthetic unity
  • Clean production
  • Takes a lot of compositional risks

CONS:

  • Lyrically incohesive at times
  • Occasional dissonance between vocal and instrumental energies

Listen here.

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