Looking to uncover some new tunes? Here's our resident music expert Matt Dyson's new monthly column, to help you explore the latest from the left-field.
What is The Modern Music Masterclass? It’s a journey – one in which we’ll help you unearth the gems in the digital record shop that is Spotify. Each month Vodafone’s resident music expert Matt Dyson will dive into a genre and pick out three emerging, new or upcoming groups that you’ve probably never heard of, but should have. This month? It’s time to uncover the best indie tunes that this Green and Sceptered Isle has to offer. Over to you Matt…
These days indie is a term mostly used for a landfill of beige, identikit bands all strumming the same pointless chords, and about bands called things like ‘The Feeling’ or ‘Scouting For Something Slightly More Interesting Than Mild Cheddar’. But, if you look hard enough, there are still a startling amount of young, talented British eccentrics kicking things two fields to the left with their music – all on independent labels. Here are three of the best…
Three of Teleman used to be in Reading’s Pete and the Pirates, who made two albums’ worth of understated guitar brilliance about the humdrum – everything from sesame seeds to falling out of taxicabs in the Thames Valley suburbs.
Teleman do the same, except they’ve now moved to London, made new friends, loaded up on vintage synths and further stripped away all but the essentials. What’s left are stark, neat songs which fill the resulting space with buttoned-up, clever hooks. As subversive as a commuter acting out his daydream of jumping the barrier and joining the circus.
Düsseldorf by Teleman:
If you robbed all the clothes from a wax work museum dedicated to all things indie rock since the late ‘60s, you would possibly end up looking like Anglo-Welsh eccentrics, Telegram. They’ve got everything from Velvet Underground shades and kaftans, to the thrift shop stylings of a young Jarvis Cocker. Musically they’re the same, freewheeling through glam, kraut rock and whatever else they’ve begged, borrowed and re-appropriated from the 20th century.
Yet it all works, with each song built around big choruses reminiscent of Super Fury Animals and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. Of course it helps that lead singer Matt Saunders has that same effortless way with melodies.
Taffy Come Home by Telegram:
3. The Wave Pictures
The Wave Pictures are like forgotten cult authors with a back catalogue of out-of-print masterpieces. Their work stretches back a decade to a series of DIY releases (‘The Hawaiian Open Mic Night’ is well worth seeking out), and these days they’re seen as respectable underdogs, forever touring Europe and getting radio play on 6Music.
But they’ve never lost what made them great – namely David Tattersall’s lyrical genius, crooning John Fante-obsessed tales of heartache and regret. It’s tied together with occasional virtuoso flurries of guitar from a near-horizontally laidback band with a total disregard for the zeitgeist.
I Could Hear The Telephone (3 Floors Above Me) by The Wave Pictures: