Tellison : Hope Fading Nightly, released September 2015

A belated review of ‘Hope Fading Nightly’, the third album release from indie-rockers Tellison.

Opening track ‘Letter To The Team – After Another Imperfect Season’ is a plaintive tale of fate and failure, sung over gentle acoustic background with a bit of keyboard. It is a distinctive, unusual and effectively disturbing song. When the guitars crash in for ‘Helix And Ferman’ we feel on more familiar territory but the lyrical despondency ‘now all things just pass, you still come in last…’only has the answer of ‘drink red wine’ . It is a belting rock song, quickly followed by the energy and superior pop structure of ‘Boy’ with its hookline that you can’t get out of your head.

There is more despondency in the lyric of ‘Wrecker’ with an efficient demolishing guitar. And so it goes on, mostly lyrically bleak and musically powerful (the sublime ‘Tact is Dead’ needs to be played extra loud..!), especially on my favourite track ‘Orion’. Beginning delicately, then the band crash in as the narrator walks out on his life ‘And Orion looked down vengefully on me…’. I look forward to hearing this one live when they return to Cambridge next year.

‘Hellhole’ sounds like pure electronica but played on guitars. ‘Tsundoko’ is a Japanese word for the act of buying books and never reading them, I’m glad there is a special word for that, it is also the title of the epic final track, with the closing line ‘They said if I tried and tried I’d be happy…’

This is a heartfelt, thought-provoking, challenging album and there is a musical and lyrical depth that makes it a bit special.


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