Teleman – Steam Train Girl (Encona)

Even on autopilot, this smart-pop three piece get the job done

Released Jul 1st, 2013 via Encona / By Larry Day
Teleman – Steam Train Girl (Encona) London's Teleman are following their wildly successful first single 'Cristina', and over-subscribed slots at Dot-To-Dot and The Great Escape, with a second cut, entitled 'Steam Train Girl'. The former Pete and The Pirates blokes caused such a ruckus with their debut effort that Suede took notice and booked them as the main support act for their autumn tour. Ideological contemporaries of math-indie/smart-pop rockers Alt-J and Django Django, the burgeoning trio are pulling no punches with their current venture, storming through lauded shows and dropping heavyweight singles that turn heads so fast they practically break necks.

This new single, 'Steam Train Girl', is the first release on their fresh Moshi Moshi imprint, Encona. It's got a lurid motorik, the odd splash of twinkling Krautrock synths and robotic vocoder. When featured as Guardian's 'Band Of The Day', they were likened in image to Kraftwerk – while they're most definitely not musical descendants of the iconic Germans, there is the occasional tangent that marches into Berlin territory. There's Bowie-esque chord pomp and soft wisps of dreamy British vox merging with a myriad of rigid synth-pop instrumentation. The combination itself, while harking to the de rigueur Mercury Prize magnets, also lends to classic Franz Ferdinand.

It's a slow-burning single. While it doesn't slap you in the face with swaggering middle fingers or gimmicky brutishness, there's still an endearing 'grow' factor with the track. The more plays it receives, the more the chugging rhythm and ear-catching hooks ingrain themselves into the darkest recesses of your squishy grey matter. A change in pace might inject some energy into the fray, but for a band strolling down the road of the current wave of indie, and for a threesome fairly wet behind the ears, there's not a massive need to shake up the formula (not yet, anyway). Teleman are absolutely fine doing just what they're doing; as the age-old mantra goes: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.