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Telemonster

"For Someone Not So Old"
(Yellow Racket)
Release Date: December 6, 2019

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Over the last 4 years, the band Telemonster has produced 8 kids and 1 record. The record, titled Introspecter, Pt. 1, is their first in 6 years, and comes from this particular place in life – a place where you carry toddlers more than guitar cases; where you play hide ’n’ seek more than you play shows; where music is made from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am because everyone else has gone to bed.

Telemonster was formed by cousins Ben VanderHart (guitar/vocals) and Josh Barrett (drums) in 2010 after moving to Chattanooga, TN from their respective hometowns in Iowa and New Mexico. Along with bassist John-Michael Forman and pianist Dave Hess, Telemonster released an eponymous EP in 2011 and quickly followed up with 2012’s self-released A Girl I Knew. Since then, they have been writing and recording amidst the disarray of having kids, building a studio, starting a record label, teaching economics, making pottery, and otherwise enjoying a quiet life. Introspecter (implying both “one who looks inward” and “a ghost within”) explores the darker side of human nature within this unassuming context. Against the backdrop of workaday life, it grapples with those insidious impulses that most of us hide or perhaps refuse to acknowledge altogether.

Drawing comparisons to Sufjan Stevens and Grizzly Bear, the music reflects the many influences at work in the band. The songs are melodic like classical and catchy like pop, but underscored by complex jazz rhythms and the raw energy of rock ’n’ roll. The end result is both cerebral and visceral – it will pique your mind and pluck your heartstrings.

Introspecter was recorded in home studios and old churches around the city of Chattanooga. The album was produced by VanderHart and mastered in Athens, GA by David Barbe, known for his work with Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt, Deerhunter, Animal Collective, and many others.


Photos: Mary Kate VanderHart


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