Musselburgh mudflats + Teleman
The tide having reached its lowest point a half hour before, the Firth of Forth's daily land grab was well underway. In the meantime, the mudflats were still extending for hundreds of metres beyond the entrance to Fisherrow Harbour, with waders prowling the terrain for shellfish and lugworms. Local dogwalkers were strolling along the shore, keeping a wary eye on brackish channels that can snake around the flatlands. (Traversing the slurping puddles you try not to dwell on thoughts of quicksand!) Headed in the direction of the mouth of the River Esk to the east, then back again, towards Arthur's Seat shaking off the morning shadows.
Playlist: Teleman, Brilliant Sanity (Moshi Moshi, 2016)
The London indie band's second album is an expansion of the wonderful blend of sometimes melancholic but paradoxically uplifting guitar pop they unleashed on their debut Breakfast (Moshi Moshi, 2014). I've read about them planning song structures on a whiteboard. If this seems the antithesis of rock n'roll spontaneity, it doesn't detract from their infectious songwriting. (The thought of Iggy Pop and the Asheton brothers fighting over marker pens does conjure a farcical image, but rock has always been, and continues to be, a broad church, despite one Noel Gallagher's hyperbolic jabbering about Oasis being its last great exponents).
I first heard Teleman on longtime champion Marc Riley's seminal BBC Radio 6 show. If they're spirited enough to be recommended by The Fall's former rhythm guitarist, they're more than worthy of a listen. Brothers Tommy and Jonny Sanders, Pete Cattermoul and Hiro Amamiya concoct an addictive meld of early Pet Shop Boys, Kraftwerk, the Beach Boys, and even Supertramp, with vocal harmonies floating amongst catchy guitar lines. Track after track, from the opener 'Dusseldorf,' to 'Glory Hallelujah,' 'Tangerine,' 'English Architecture,' and 'Melrose' through to 'Devil in My Shoe' hooks the listener.
Post script. I also love the title, Brilliant Sanity. Having experienced bipolar's horribly delusional underworld, sanity, exemplified by the elevating joy of music, can certainly seem brilliant.
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