dancemotherBy: Cat Veit

Album:   Dance Mother
Artist:   Telepathe

As listen to Telepathe’s debut album Dance Mother with your eyes closed, one might envision neon. Lots of neon — or walking into your local Urban Outfitters to buy overpriced, plastic hipster swag. Either way, it’s not completely vomit-inducing, it’s actually kind of nice. Dance Mother, produced by TV on the Radio’s David Sitek, (producer of all those Yeah Yeah Yeah’s records we like) is a cacophony of art-pop, synth, electro beats you can’t really dance to; which some of their potential arty-minimalist fans might prefer.

Two Brooklyn-based friends comprise this electro/noise-pop outfit: Melissa Livaudais and Busy Gangnes. Together they create aura of subtle complexity, transpiring into a brief nine track experimentally ambitious foray into synth-pop with inspired yet joyless, dead-eyed vocals. It is wonderfully creepy, beautiful, nonsensical and alluring; as if these two are luring you into the woods with the promise of something devious.

Instead of brooding, their vocals are childlike and either bounce off the other or meld like neon watercolors. Their overall vocal sound borders on early Cocteau Twins and children on a playground.

“In Your Line”, a 3 minute almost ambient interlude midway through the record exemplifies it all with their endearing two-part harmony as it slowly evolves into a chorus of children on Easter Sunday, yet with less reverence.

“Michael” innocently contrasts the latter with poppy beats, aloof vocals and raving lyrics:

“I wanna watch you suffer violently
when you’re with me you forget you’re alone
found a birthplace for a bloodied corpse”

“Drugged” sounds like it’s on drugs, hence the perfect title for this closer. Their voices are listless but insistent, much like the back and forth rocking backbeat that juxtaposes it all. It accurately mimics the time you spent talking yourself down from a schizophrenic outburst. The lyrics digress:

“Is your mom and dad asleep
Please don’t let them take us out
Let’s go make out in the snow
I’ll fuck you up you ought to know
This is why I do this”

“Trilogy” features supernatural synths with undeniable hooks laced with those lovably spooky ooh’s and ahh’s of the adolescent to add effect. It’s this common thread throughout that adds to the record’s endearing quality. Making it stand apart from what is expected from the vast electro gamut.

Dance Mother proves to be an incredibly ambitious record with enough “˜left of center’ experimentation to keep it exciting. There is room for continued growth as apathetically inferred electro beats are artfully counteracted with cherubic honesty and simplicity. Telepathe can only get more interesting, maniacal, creepy, and cuddly-cute; looking forward to the sophomore record.