New Music

Breakthrough 2022

Telenova: Enigmatic, cinematic electro-indie-pop

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Listening to Melbourne trio Telenova’s enigmatic electro-indie-pop is like watching a movie with the picture turned off. They do describe their sound as “cinema for your ears” after all, and building glorious cinematic worlds, readymade for getting lost in for a minute or four, is exactly what they do best.

It makes sense really, seeing as the trio features members from two much-loved Melbourne acts – Slum Sociable and Miami Horror – and a multi-disciplined artist and filmmaker.

While their collective resume ensures their potent musicianship isn’t a surprise, don’t let what you know about their former projects guide you here – not only are they distancing themselves from their previous bands’ sounds, but Telenova are also setting themselves apart from any other acts breaking through right now.

What makes this trio’s story even better, is that they got together thanks to a former guitarist of US rockers Death Cab For Cutie.

Edward Quinn, Joshua Moriarty, and frontwoman Angeline Armstrong round out Telenova – and while their meeting may seem like pure chance and coincidence, one listen to their debut single proves that this coming together may be closer to destiny.

Telenova – Bones (Official Video)

The trio were each attending a songwriting workshop hosted by APRA AMCOS and facilitated by former Death Cab For Cutie member Chris Walla in early 2020, when Walla threw them in a room together and got them to write.

In that session the trio came up with – what would go on to become – the title track of their debut EP ‘Tranquilize’, an upbeat tune that perfectly layers Armstrong’s richly delicate vocals over a hypnotic, groovy bassline.

After the workshop, they continued writing together just for fun, locking in on the sound they’d arrived at on that very first day. And in no time, they realised they’d actually whipped up a pretty decent catalogue of music. Thus, Telenova came to be.

It wasn’t that first single that the band used to introduce themselves though, early in 2021 that job went to Telenova’s debut single ‘Bones’.

Lush instrumentation and interesting, clever production were immediately on show, and right from the outset Armstrong stole to the show with her gentle yet powerful vocal. You don’t even need a full listen to understand what we mean about the cinematic quality – all old Hollywood-tinged elegance and drama – to their sound.

Telenova – Tranquilize (Official Video)

Proving to be the perfect introduction, very quickly the single put Telenova on the map, turning heads of critics, tastemakers, and music fans alike. And off the back of just that one single, Telenova were already selling out bandrooms in Sydney and Melbourne – music fans with their ears to the ground keen to hear what else this surprising supergroup had in store.

A handful of months later, in July, Telenova released their debut EP Tranquilize. Featuring ‘Bones’ as well as the aforementioned title track – across its five tracks Telenova effortlessly swirl between nostalgia-soaked sonic palettes, crafting a world that is as perfectly suited for moments of headphones-on self-reflection as it is moving around a hazy room on a crowded dancefloor or driving windows down on a wide-open-road trip.

The record received wide acclaim, captivating audiences and critics around the globe including radio play on KCRW, triple j, BBC Radio 1’s Future Artists, being handpicked by Matt Wilkinson for Breaking on his Apple Music 1 show, supported by Spotify, Amazon, Soundcloud, and featuring in Vogue Paris monthly playlists.

The visuals that sit alongside Telenova’s music are equally as important, and with Armstrong having been mentored by the legendary Aussie filmmaker Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby) for filmmaking at NIDA, it is clear that their full artistic vision is deliberate and has purpose.

The effect of ‘Bones’ stretched across the year, with the single landing at #91 in this year’s triple j hottest 100. The EP Tranquilize also landed at #22 in NME’s 25 best Australian albums of 2021. In April, Telenova were named triple j Unearthed Feature Artist, and later that month were one of 20 recipients of the Music VR Backers Fund.

Theirs is a sound that is hard to pin down, but one thing’s for sure – it will have you enchanted and hooked in no time at all. Constantly creating and experimenting, we’re certain there’s a whole lot more in store from Telenova – and we’ve got front row seats to the premiere screening.

Blue Valentine (Official Lyric Video)

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View the full Breakthrough 2022 list here.