Brooklyn duo does dark
Familiarity lurks amid Dance Mother''s clean synths and unadorned beats. Talky, monotone vocals crown these trendy primal cuts, as Brooklyn''s Telepathe aren''t in the market to roll out lavishly decorated electro. The debut LP from Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais is punky, sparse and Beach House-spooky, even if it''s underwhelming in the “development” department.
Telepathe''s stark mashes of lasers, detuned toms and dramatic grime-type strings (see “Lights Go Down”) are relentlessly sci-fi sounding, and producer Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio) helped ensure that Dance Mother is a primarily frosty endeavor. His task sounds a lot easier as the record progresses: analog sequencers and synth stabs best complement repeated refusals to sing in lieu of chanting on Dance Mother. It''s routine and predictable when Gangnes and Livaudais are left merely to deliver their mostly spoken vocals over these barren tracks, and their analogous tones make it extremely difficult to tell who''s singing. Swaddled in the robust, wobbling new wave of “Drugged” or “Michael,” Telepathe best illustrates the promise that''s at the center of Dance Mother, and it makes all the squabbling to pierce their unembellished backdrops with recitation sound comparably tiresome. [3 out of 5 stars]