Another addition to a canon that will remain impossibly important to those who are privy to its charms.
Label: Alcopop Records
Released: 18th September 2015
Poster-boys for the unsuccessful and broken-hearted ‘til the end, Tellison’s third full-length opens with a so-Tellison-it-hurts self-referential ballad. “Please accept my reluctant, though necessary, resignation,” ends frontman Stephen Davidson, after recounting the wearisome journey of almosts and not-quites that have constantly batted the group back from the position of indie breakthrough. From there on out, though, it’s all guns blazing, and ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ instantly reveals its true form – so much more than the navel-gazing ode to sorrow its title might suggest, if this is really it for the perennial underdog, they’re going out with one hell of a bite.
Tellison have always skirted between both twinkling lullaby and ballsy, straightforward anthemic rock – on ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ they’ve polished both sides of the coin to within an inch of their life. ‘Herman & Felix’ explodes into life after the aforementioned title-track, burning away all cobwebs with a purpose-built festival flare of a singalong. It’s followed up by ‘Boy’, which sadly arrives too late to soundtrack the sunny-day road trips it seems born to. Chalk that one up to that classic Tellison luck.
The pace sags a little in the middle, the breathtaking opening salvo leaving little for the admittedly limper one-two of ‘Rookie Of The Year’ and ‘Detective’ to draw from, but the intricacies of tongue-twisting duo of ‘Mendokusai’, and closing track ‘Tsundoku’ prove that the four-piece can still tone things down without losing their appeal. “They said if I worked real hard I’d be happy,” laments Davidson on the latter – a heart-breaker in the finest Tellison fashion.
‘Hope Fading Nightly’ probably won’t bring Tellison fame and fortune, and the sentiments of that opening ballad will likely remain pertinent for a long time to come. As their third record finally creeps forward though, and they approach their thirteenth year on the toilet circuit, none of that seems to matter – ‘Hope Fading Nightly’ is another addition to a canon that will remain impossibly important to those who are privy to its charms. Sometimes, that’s more important than stage sizes and success. Tom Connick