Following the untimely death of Charles Cooper, one half of the experimental electronic duo, in 2009, Telefon Tel Aviv was hung in the back of the closet. Counterpart Joshua Eustis proceeded to work with other artists like Nine Inch Nails, only reaching for the name over the years for a myriad of releases such as Immolate Yourself (2010) and The Birds (2012).
Thus, almost two decades on from the birth of TTA, the Chicago-based artist’s announcement of a new album, Dreams Are Not Enough, is an unexpected continuation of the sonic landscape we knew and loved with a refreshed and revised sound.
The introductory pulsing beat in ‘a younger version of myself,’ demands the listener’s patience; the stillness overcomes you until you can hear your own heartbeat duetting with the percussive rounds.
Based off a recurring dream, the track expertly captures that morning-after disorientation as you haphazardly grasp at the remainders of your unconscious musings as they drift through your fingertips. The lyrics lack buoyancy, their poetic essence submerged under the capricious soundwaves crashing over the intentionally side-lined words.
Dreams are collaborative, a union of thoughts and sensations that are not entirely tangible, just like the erased protagonist of the accompanying video. As he meanders the streets lit only by “The glow of the streetlight”, the mirage like figure formed by “The dust of our dreams suspended in beams” fills “The hollow place that once belonged to you”. The reverberating cacophony of conclusive sounds echo off this “Hollow”, the soft intonation leaving the lyrics lost in that vacant space.
The track emulates nostalgia, the kind found only in the melancholic musings of the night. However, the persistence of the track’s base melody and simplistic beats are the perfect guise for the profound and suggestive lyrics, masked by sound as we are by the blanket of night.
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Image courtesy of Vice.