One year ago today, I found out that one of my favourite bands – Telegraphs – had decided to call it a day.
I received their first EP while I was reviewing for the now defunct Rock Midgets. They didn’t have a gimmick, they didn’t fit into any obvious sub-genre and there were few bands to easily compare them to. They just played rock music. It’s tough saying that, it conjures images of something very basic and stripped-down, this wasn’t the case. It was rock on an epic scale, with a grand sound. No, not like Muse. Do you see why it’s hard to describe them effectively? Bah, pigeonholing is a horrible thing.
It was love from that first EP onwards, with every further review earning four out of five at the lowest from me.
When their album, We We Were Ghosts arrived, I was mildly worried I had built up too much expectation. I needn’t have been concerned.
HUGE in places, We Were Ghosts continually builds songs dynamically towards soaring choruses and jaw-dropping closing moments; just try ‘We Dance In Slow Motion’ and the breathtaking ‘I Don’t Navigate By You’ on for size. Both tracks were singles, and almost every song here is catchy enough to find a slot on a radio playlist, yet none bear the clichés or compromises you would associate with such accessible music.
– Rockmidgets Review
I finally got to see them play live, and only saw them twice at that. I was pretty surprised at how grateful they were towards me just for voicing my opinion. But they liked my kind words so much I got my name in their inlay card, leading to the very odd sensation of realising your name has been mentioned in the same paragraph as Brice Dickinson. I rarely look at my reviews as being of much importance, but if I influenced just one person to listen to them, I’d be ecstatic to have introduced that person to such a good band.
They had a second album ready to go, but it was not to be. There was no money to get that album made.
How many good bands have seen this happen whilst major labels pump out drivel you’ll have forgotten the following week?
It’s a shit business.
But, despite the lack of a record deal, we got that second album.
They put The Light From Dead Stars on their blog the following December.
For Free. It’s still there, and that’s the main reason for this memorial post!
Go here. Download it. For Free.
If you don’t like it, you lose nothing.
If you love it, share my frustration that such a good album was denied release.
I was always going to like it as an album, which frustratingly damages my verdict to those who’re fed up of my constant raving.
But, even without being fully mastered and released, it makes their début album – that I gave 5/5 – look weak by comparison.
I thought it was just the circumstances giving me rose tinted glasses (or should that be earphones?) So after a few spins I left it for a week. It hit me exactly the same.
Every element of We Were Ghosts was improved upon.
The songwriting was a real step up: with some very strong numbers. Many of Darcy Harrison’s dramatically improved lyrics have that wonderful quality of making you connect them to something in your life even if the song isn’t remotely about that. The male/female vocals I loved so much were impressive, with bassist Hattie Williams’ vocals on ‘Someone’s At the Door’ in particular stopping me in my tracks a number of times.
It’s grand and dramatic without a hint of pomp or pretension, and it’s riddled with anthems that should have filled arenas. ‘We Are So Far From Home’, ‘Accidents And Emergencies’, ‘Bobby’, ‘I Will Make A Home For You’, all songs that will stick inside your head and have you singing along after only a few listens.
It’s a massive shame it didn’t work out for Telegraphs; for them, for those lucky enough to have found them, and especially for those who never got the chance to.
But hopefully, if you’re in the latter group, you’re not even reading this.
Hopefully, you’ve already clicked the link up there and you’re already listening and seeing what I saw in them.
Music is the best and worst thing in the world sometimes.
Thank you, Telegraphs.