Joesph began as the solo recording project of Joey Cook, a singer/songwriter previously known for his work in nationally recognized Cincinnati Indie Rock band Pomegranates. But by the time his debut, the dazzling full-length There Comes the Lord, was released last spring, Cook had turned Joesph into a full band, with ex-Pomegranates pal Pierce Geary on bass and former Kickaways guitarist Devyn Glista playing drums. Both appear on the new EP.
Glowing Flower is an enticing teaser for the next full-length, with five intoxicatingly psychedelic tracks that blend Cook’s luminous Pop lilt with dizzying sonic experimentalism. Both of those facets are on display within the title track (which is tagged with “(excerpt)” on the EP, suggesting the LP version might be even more of a head trip), as it unfolds as a gorgeously melodic refraction of spiritual uplift (complete with Pet Sounds-ish percussive additives) before transitioning into a warped, disorienting mélange of effects and sound tricks without warning. “Holy Mother” is a mantra-like chant laced with swirls of noise and buoyed by hypnotic percussion, buzzing like a distant cousin of The Beatles’ “Within You Without You,” while “Dangerous Child” is a full-on sound collage, with “Tomorrow Never Knows”-like loop sounds and a jutting synthesizer chug bubbling beneath a strangely mannered dialogue spoken by an unknown woman. The EP ends with “Temples (version)” (again suggesting a different rendition may pop up on the full-length), which starts off sounding like a whispering demo recorded outside during a rain shower before falling back on tranquil pillows of synth swells.
Though no release date has been given yet for when Temples will be available, Glowing Flower should tide fans over and leave Psych Pop listeners in heated anticipation.
Telehope Unveils Debut Album
Cincinnati AltPop five-piece Telehope hosts a release party Saturday in honor of its debut album, Chasing Dreams. The show at Madison Live (734 Madison Ave., Covington, madisontheateronline.com) also features performances by fellow Cincinnati band Local Waves and Dayton, Ohio’s This Pine Box. Admission to the all-ages show is $10 in advance (through cincyticket.com) or $12 at the door. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
The band began life as Undivided, a trio that released its debut in 2014 and developed a local following before reconfiguring and growing into Telehope last year. Chasing Dreams crisply shows off the quintet’s clean, earnest Pop spin, which is largely driven by elegant piano and emotive (if sometimes syrupy) melodies and vocals. Highlights include the broad, ambient Pop of “Insomnia” and the instantly memorable hit-in-waiting, “Joy,” which is like one giant hook, from its jubilant groove to the infectious optimism of the lyrics (“There’s a pounding inside my chest/A hundred voices inside my head/Something great has just begun/And it’s beautiful”).
Tight and passionate, Telehope’s debut shows the band to be clearly talented, but it has yet to fully develop its own personality, wearing influences (Coldplay, Walk the Moon, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, etc.) a little too nakedly on its sleeve to stand out. And a few tracks on Chasing Dreams get lodged too long in a rut of piano-arpeggio aloofness and fail to ever fully take off.
Still, from the songwriting and production to the performances and presentation, Chasing Dreams is a promising introduction to a band that could quickly develop into something special.
For more on Telehope, visit telehopeband.com.
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: [email protected]