In the Loop With Brooklyn's Telepathe
I like the image of Telepathe huddled together over a warm computer, answering questions in tandem, sans words, with one intermingled mind.
Maybe it’s the name or the sound, but the cute kids of the Brooklyn band - the core consists of Melissa Livaudais, once of the fab all-female combo First Nation, and Busy Gangnes, formerly of Wikkid and a yoga guru of sorts - conjure those kinds of thoughts, especially after a listen or 20 to Dance Mother (IAMSOUND), Telepathe’s debut.
Analog synths, primitive techno and hip-hop beats, and girlish, natural-as-a-newborn vocals mark the recording, which was made with the help of TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, with guest vocals by TOTR’s Kyp Malone and !!!’s Shannon Funchess. And Livaudais’ and Gangnes’ collective free-associations come just in time, for Telepathe’s show tonight, June 12, at Bottom of the Hill. Next up: a fall EP, which Telepathe will begin to track at the end of this month.
Q: Any initial ideas that you wanted to look at with Dance Mother?
Telepathe: With Dance Mother, our main idea was to challenge ourselves rhythmically and to perfectly ignore all trends in indie rock music. We didn't want to sound like one specific thing.
Q: What do you want listeners to get from Telepathe’s music?
T: People actually dance at our shows now. We just want to inspire our listeners...
Q: How much of an impact has hip-hop had on the band's sound? What elements do you take or tweak to make your own?
T: Hip-hop production is our favorite. We really fell in love with a lot of Dirty South.
Around the time we were making Dance Mother, the South owned hip-hop radio, so I guess it was endless inspiration: 808s, snappy hi-hats - we love it all.
Q: How does '80s synth-pop inform Telepathe? And I wonder, why is the sound so relevant today?
T: We love synth cold wave-type stuff. It’s in our blood - all those emotional melodies. Heart-wrenching. We have a synth fetish.
We don't know about other bands and ‘80s stuff. We don't really listen to "now" bands. However, we love Empire of the Sun. We listen to that one song "We Are the People" over and over and try to harmonize with the chorus!
Q: What inspires?
T: Inspiration, to us, is a good, solid hook with harmony.
Q: What irks?
T: Being grouped in "the Brooklyn" experimental scene.
Telepathe performs with Nite Jewel and Hawnay Troof tonight, June 12, 10 p.m., $10. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. (415) 621-4455.