Telepathe

Will Deitz

Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais seem to have codified the perception that, in DIY Brooklyn, when you know the right people, both press and opinions are coming your way. I quote:

“'In Your Line' sounds like it was cut from TV on the Radio’s Return to Cookie Mountain.”

“The music created [on Dance Mother] by Gangnes, Livaudais, and, to an unknown extent, producer David Sitek, is uniformly awesome.”

“So is Telepathe good live yet?”

Lost in the shuffle of whatever undeniably sparse live show Telepathe puts on—a lone floor tom being the only musical instrument on stage—or TV on the Radio’s David Sitek's likely influence on Dance Mother is the fact that Gangnes and Livaudais surely know what they’re doing of their own accord.

With the duo putting in what must have been countless hours with Apple’s Logic Studio, Dance Mother is a sometimes-brilliant piece of nostalgia-laced synth-pop. I sat down with Busy and Melissa in the green room of Chicago’s Metro to chat, while members of Ladytron and the Faint, whom Telepathe opened for, blathered on in the background. Almost as important as the snippets I caught from the girls amongst the din was the way they carried themselves. These two are genuine, enthusiastic, and, even when their equipment failed in the midst of their act or they witnessed some undeniable prima-donna-ing going on between the co-headliners, upbeat and optimistic. In a way, I’m glad that their live show is, for now, devoid of Animal-Collective-on-Letterman theatrics. It might make for less than action-packed photographs, but at least I didn’t find myself thinking, “What the fuck is this?”

My thoughts upon exiting the interview? “I would totally go bowling with these chicks.” Unfortunately, someone beat me to it.

When TV on the Radio was blowing up in Brooklyn, what were you guys doing?

We were, um, not going out. Hanging out in our bedroom that we shared. Working on [Apple’s] Logic Studio.

Did some of that come out on the EP?

Some of it, yeah. But there was definitely a learning curve in the beginning. We found out early that we weren’t particularly interested in rock music. We started out using this program called Reason, then we moved on to Logic. This was in about 2005.

What would you point to as the thing that propelled Telepathe forward?

So, we’d been making all these songs in our bedroom. Then we started putting them up on MySpace. We ran across a like-minded producer, who also used Logic, and things kind of went from there.

When you guys were growing up, what music did your parents play in the car?

Busy: My mother played a lot of classical radio stations in the car. She didn’t know anything about popular music I had tell her the music from her time, like Jefferson Airplane, and she would respond, “Oh yeah, I remember hearing that when I was walking through my college campus!” She was total music nerd, because she was an opera singer and a music major in college.

My mom was really similar.

Melissa: I would say my mom’s the polar opposite of that. David Bowie was her first concert.

Do you think that comes out in Telepathe’s music?
I think so! Busy has this really technical background, and I don’t, so I think that works for us.

Telepathe’s summer tour is already well underway. It wraps up at All Points West on July 31.

 
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