We caught up with Dubai-based duo TeleChild following the release of their latest single 'Too Much Trouble'. The new offering blends various genres and styles, from classic rock to grunge and soul. To find out a bit more about where their eclectic sound may come from, we asked them to name 5 songs they love and why!
If you're a fan of any of the below tracks, be sure to check out 'Too Much Trouble' at the end of the article.
1. Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Live Version
This live version of the Beatles classic is a no brainer to most rock fans. The song itself is one of our all-time favorite Beatles tracks, notably for the subtle switch from the verse’s A-minor key to the bridge’s A-major key. We’ve held countless guitar jam sessions to its chord progression. The reason we chose this faithful live version though is that it made us discover that Prince was such an underrated guitarist. Just when you thought the song couldn’t get any better, Prince just appears out of nowhere towards the end and effortlessly blasts this epic guitar solo coupled with his unmatched showmanship. The amused reaction on George Harrison’s son in the background pretty much sums up how everyone was feeling towards this unforgettable live performance. RIP legends.
2. Radiohead – “Nude”
We look at Radiohead as being our generation’s rock band. We used to wait impatiently for their albums to come out, we tried to figure out how they made those peculiar noises and effects with their instruments, and half the time we didn’t get what Thom Yorke was saying but we were hooked. We used to wonder how on earth could they follow up after OK Computer (top 3 albums of all time in our books). Well fortunately enough they did, and we ended up listening to In Rainbows the most. “Nude” is an elegantly slow song on that album that probably pushes Thom’s vocal cords to their limits. Charles insisted we pick this song out of Radiohead’s repertoire for the gorgeous ringing guitar tone and the odd reverse effect on the high-hat. He always uses it as a litmus test for any new speaker or headphones he’s planning to buy. “You got to hear that bass line properly” he always says.
3. Pink Floyd – “Have a Cigar”
Growing up in the 90’s, you were one of the cool kids if you went retro and wore a Dark Side of the Moon T-Shirt. Who knows maybe it still is these days? Pink Floyd were still huge (at least in our part of the world) even though Roger Waters had left the group and most of their ground breaking work was decades behind them. Bands covered their songs in pubs, people sang their hearts out to Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb… it was impossible not to get on that bandwagon. We lived and breathed the Floyd sound in our teens, and it still carries weight to this day. “Have a Cigar” might not be an obvious choice to some: it’s not sung by any of the band members, it probably doesn’t even belong to their signature Space or Prog Rock genre… but boy does that phaser-driven rhythm guitar grab you from the start, not to mention those piercing unsettling keyboard notes by Richard Wright. What strikes us the most is Roger’s satirical lyrics (“the band is just fantastic […] oh by the way, which one’s pink”). Hadi smirks every time he hears it and basically adopted that mood in a lot of our lyrics. Also, we’ve yet to replicate how the song abruptly ends with a filter sweep reducing it to a radio sound. Pure genius.
4. Sigur Rós – “Hjartað hamast (bamm bamm bamm)”
It came out in 1999 when we were into the popular contemporary rock bands…you know, the ones who sang in English. A friend of ours tells us he discovered this Icelandic group, which was met with a doubtful eye brow-raised look. He said we won’t regret it. We start listening…jazzy rhythm keys start off the song…(nice groove)…oh there’s some harmonica lead giving it a western feel…(ok we feel you)…hmm what is this weird envelope sound coming from the background? (head tilt in intrigue)...and then it hits us at the 37th second. Eyes wide open, goosebumps (we still get them), time stood still. What just happened? Is this guitar being played through a space wormhole or sth? How do you get that sound? Turns out that nifty Jónsi vocalist/guitarist of theirs likes to experiment with a cello bow on his guitar. Naturally, we spent the whole summer trying to reproduce that sound on our instruments to no avail. Sigur Rós taught us to value melody above all in music. It didn’t matter that they sang in a language we didn’t understand. To this day, we still don’t know what the song is about. We’d rather leave it to our imagination and be carried away by the melody layers.
5. Wake Island – “Never Entirely There”
This song deserved to be played on all radio stations when it came out. Who said you can’t make a dance pop song with a guitar? The boys from Wake Island are fellow compatriots who, just like us, left our country seeking out better lives. Nadim was Charles’ neighbor growing up. We used to catch them over the summer or winter breaks when most Lebanese came back home for the holidays, and they were always performing their latest originals at some local concert event. That’s when we first heard “Never Entirely There”. Hadi couldn’t help but actually dance to it and he didn’t even had that much to drink that night. We love the upbeat nature of the song, it immediately puts you in a good mood, and we can’t get enough of the beautifully placed guitar riff in the bridge. Philippe sings “this has been a shit year” in the second verse, somehow predicting the sentiment shared around the globe for the last 2 years no?
Check out 'Too Much Trouble':
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