Linda McGovern (vocals), Colm McElarney (keys), Shane Counter (guitar), Simone Pujia (bass/vocals) and Paul Ames (drums) are The Telling. The band from Dublin, Ireland recently released an eponymous three-song EP The Telling.
The first thing to note is the band is definitely playing into an ’80s and ’90s rock (sometimes funk) vibe. There are a lot of signifiers to the lead guitar sound to the very impressive vibrato and singing style of McGovern. I grew up on similar music to this when I was a kid and hence felt slightly nostalgic.
The EP starts with “Grasping at Tomorrow.” You are greeted with ominous pads which paint an ominous post-apocalyptic world. The mood they paint for the first ten seconds felt a little out of place. I thought I was gearing up for a Brain Eno song. A little after the one-minute mark some beautiful flamenco guitar and swelling pads accompany McGovern. The bass is leading a lot of the charge of the song. As the song continues I was impressed by McGovern’s vocals. Her tone and inflection has a classic rock quality to it. Powerful, commanding and she can hit high notes with ease. As I mentioned, her style felt retro in a good way. The song takes off with an ’80s sound guitar lead as the band goes into a crescendo. I thought the last minute which displayed some experimentation was well done.
“A Summer Field” starts with a serene electric piano. Once the band came in it reminded me of a Christmas song in a good way. It's atmospheric and warm in a similar way to the John Lennon song “So This Is Christmas.” As the song progresses however it loses that vibe as it twists and turns with a prog rock inspired chorus which I really liked.
The band starts “Your Favourite Song” with a completely different style. They seemed to turn into Blondie at first which was very unexpected and was also so on the nose. Everything from the classic octave bass line to the drum beat felt like a homage. The chorus felt more aligned with their previous style because of the distortion. This song seemed to try and bring these styles together.
This band was recently formed and seems like they are in the stage of doing some experimenting to find a signature sound. It doesn't seem to be quite there yet but I did really like all the songs even if it was for different reasons.
I think they are off to a solid start. I’m digging the retro style and notable performances. Take a listen.
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