Telenova | Credit: Clint Peloso

Telenova: “There Isn’t Any Pressure – It’s Still a Gas”

Angeline Armstrong, Edward Quinn and Joshua Moriarty started releasing music as Telenova in March 2021. The trio made an immediate impact with the singles ‘Bones’ and ‘Tranquilize’ and the subsequent Tranquilize EP, selling out a succession of headline shows and scoring a Hottest 100 debut with ‘Bones’.

Telenova’s three founding members came into the project with plenty of experience in the creative industries. Moriarty is a solo artist and member of Miami Horror, while Quinn formerly made up half of the indie-electro duo Slum Sociable. Armstrong, the band’s lead vocalist, is a filmmaker who’s worked with producer Jarrad Rogers under the name Beachwood.

The trio’s new EP, Stained Glass Love, is their first release since rising to national prominence. The record was largely composed during one of Melbourne’s long Covid lockdowns and represents the trio’s hardened commitment to the project and their mutual affection for a hooky pop chorus.

Music Feeds spoke to Moriarty and Armstrong about meeting expectations and writing from a place of vulnerability.

Telenova: Stained Glass Love

MF: Seeing how people connected with Tranquilize, did that change your perception of the project? Did it alter your ambitions or your commitment to Telenova?

Josh Moriarty: I think it definitely altered our commitment, but then we were all looking for something to sink our teeth into so the timing was perfect. We were all in other bands and they just happened to peter out and slow down all at the perfect time for Telenova to ramp up. Perception-wise, nothing has changed – we still write songs the same way and enjoy hanging out. There isn’t any pressure. It’s still a gas.

MF: Stained Glass Love was written during one of Melbourne’s Covid lockdowns. Were you able to look beyond that particular moment to write songs that could stand apart from the specificity of that experience?

JM: I don’t think any of the lockdown stuff had any impact on our music whatsoever. It did mean that Ed and I could write a lot more instrumentals for Ange to sing on as she was following the rules a bit more than us. But yeah, I actually enjoyed that time. The government was paying us and we got to write a bunch of tunes, couldn’t ask for more really.

AA: I wouldn’t say any of the songs on the record have overt lockdown references. For me personally it was a pretty painful time of introspection though. All that time to ponder your own existence and choices. So I think the context of the time we were in definitely impacted the lyric-writing for me. I’d say it’s a heck of a lot more personal and introspective than Tranquilize because of that.

MF: The record is steeped in introspection. Is that a comfortable place for you to write songs? Or was it a bit of leap into uncomfortable territory?

JM: I don’t think when Ange and I are writing them that we worry too much about where they lead. If it feels good, poignant, potent, then we know we are onto something. The lyrics mean different things to both of us so maybe that’s a question she would be better to answer as I don’t actually have to sing the lines we come up with.

AA: I’d say that being super introspective is an uncomfortable place for me to write songs, but leads to the truest ones. Which is perhaps why I’m not always immediately overt, even in the writing session, about what I’m writing about. Or sometimes, as Josh said, I don’t know what I’m writing.

Telenova – ‘Why Do I Keep You?’

MF: How conscious are the three of you of the sounds and styles you want to embrace with Telenova? Was there much discussion about what you wanted Stained Glass Love to sound like when you started working on it?

JM: I think we just know intrinsically now what feels like Telenova and what is within our world as a band. We don’t have to discuss much about where we are headed musically as it’s just been developing and growing naturally.

AA: Yeah, the sound was there from the start. I really think it’s just the natural concoction made from all the unique ingredients, tastes and musical styles we bring to the table. We do all love a hooky chorus though; one that makes you feel something and want to hear it again and again.

MF: You all came into Telenova with a lot of creative experience. Has a natural hierarchy formed? Is there someone calling the shots?

JM: The best thing about being in a band with three people is that there is always a democratic majority to overrule. If two of us agree then the other person has to deal with it. At times the minority might be able to argue their way around things but usually two against one keeps the ball rolling. We also have different roles for different aspects of the band too, so we can leave each other and trust that things will get done.

MF: Stained Glass Love is out via Pointer Records, which prides itself on being an “artist-friendly” label that fosters “fiercely creative and ambitious artists.” What’s it like working with the label?

AA: Sweetie [Zamora] and the team at Pointer have been such massive cheerleaders from the very start. It’s great to just have lovely, passionate people who’ve got your back. Working within an indie label like Pointer gives us a lot of artistic freedom in terms of the artwork, photoshoots and the record itself.

I’d say that’s where Pointer really excels. They do the “amplifying”, and leave the ‘creating’ to the creatives. I think that freedom has been really important for us in these early days while we’re finding our feet and establishing our artistic voice.

Telenova – ‘Bones’

Further Reading

Telenova Announce Forthcoming EP, ‘Stained Glass Love’

Watch Telenova Chuck An Indie-Electro Twist On Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’ For Like A Version

Miami Horror Share Remix Of Beloved Kimbra Collab ‘I Look To You’

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