Album Review: The Telescopes – Growing Eyes Becoming String

The voyage into the ethereal psychedelia of The Telescopes is always a trip worth taking, and their sixteenth studio album, Growing Eyes Becoming String, is no exception. Upon listening, it doesn’t take long to hear how The Telescopes challenge us to listen more intently (and almost more intuitively) to what is being conveyed than ever before, with musical structures that are ambitiously ambiguous and abstract, leaving the listener space to create their own meaning for what they encounter – and I absolutely love the subjectivity of this. 

The musical textures of this album are a huge selling point, creating a fantastic blurring and jarring quality. ‘Get out of Me’ encapsulates the essence of this. It reminds me of listening to a channel on a radio station and hearing other channels bleeding in. It is a noise that doesn’t appear to make sense – at first. This is where the inherent meaning of this album is hidden – in these clashing, dissonant lines. These different realities seem to merge together but not very easily. Therefore it almost feels ethereal, like listening to the white noise of the universe. To me, it felt as if I was exploring the darker and unknown recesses of the collective mind somehow  – including it’s trappings and pitfalls. 

The metallic textures of sound become a dominant feature on each track as it progresses, distorting our ability to hear and listen to what is being played throughout this journey. ‘There is No Shore’ has a haunting, otherworldly and yearning quality. It is as if the band are on a search for an unknown message throughout, until eventually the message trying to be conveyed is lost. We too become lost in the maze of sound, trying to find a focal point of reference within the tonality again – but this is not permitted. 

The tempo throughout the album is mostly slow and laidback, a dream scape where the landscape of the mind constantly changes and melds into something new, fluctuating the entire time. It almost feels reminiscent of Dali. The Telescopes experimental and improvisatory quality is given more free reign here when they repeat a simple musical phrase, giving the music a structural reference point for the upper melodic lines to weave and oscillate as they need to.

When I think that this album was presumed lost for years but recovered after a digital hard drive crash, it feels like a miracle this was brought to light again. Finding this was definitely serendipity in action. I often think serendipity is the home where the act of creation lives. When an artist creates, they draw you into their world or perception. Growing Eyes Becoming String allows the listener to mould and create their own meaning and I think this is a stroke of genius. The Telescopes have mastered the art of allowing their musical creativity to escape the predictions of how the listener thinks something should be or feel. It quite simply – is – and it gradually takes on a life of it’s own. 

A brilliant album for those who love to wander…

Growing Eyes Becoming String will be released via Fuzz Club Records on 9th February 2024