It might be all thirty degree temperatures and surf on the beach at home in Australia for TELENOVA, but with a Really Very Good new single, and an album ready to go, the UK better watch out. Read and listen with our latest Hype playlist cover feature.
Words: Stephen Ackroyd.
Photos: Kid Circus.
Styling: Ciara Deroiste.
Picture this: a sun-soaked Melbourne, where the temperature’s high and the vibes are nothing short of chill. This is where we find Telenova, the Aussie gang that should capture more than a passing glance of attention with their Really Very Good new single ‘Teardrop’, their first under UK label Fiction.
Edward Quinn, one part of the trio, isn’t looking to avoid any Aussie stereotypes. “Today is going beautifully – it’s going to be a sunny 30 degrees in Melbourne, so I think we’re going to the beach. I’m talking Edithvale, baby. Southside.” Angeline Armstrong, the group’s vocal powerhouse, can’t help but agree. “Very Australian thing to say, that we’re going to the beach. But yeah, we love the beach. And we all have amazing tans and can surf really well,” she boasts before pointing out that “fortunately, no one from your side of the world is close enough to verify this.” Josh Moriarty, completing the line-up, sees it as a matter of urgency but has other things at hand. “I’ve got mild tanorexia, so I jump at any opportunity,” he confides. “I am, however, strapped to the computer today and going through old demos, seeing if we missed anything good on our way to the record. Turns out we didn’t.”
It’s a hard life, eh?
In the studio, Telenova are a collaborative dance of creativity. “We all write the music together collaboratively. Then Josh and Ange will go away and work on lyrics while I keep working on the musical bed we’ve just made. And we keep tinkering away together until a song is finished, I guess,” says Edward. Josh elaborates, “We all bring our different elements; Ange is excellent at the visual aesthetic as well as being a killer singer. I’m the anal retentive, and Ed is all vibe.”
Their live gigs? A whole other level. “We expand,” Ed offers. “We have Ange on vocals and acoustic guitar, Josh on rhythm bass, Ed on guitar and our man Ryan Beazely on drums.”
“I actually try to sing harmonies as best I can,” Josh interjects. “I warm up to Elvis for 30 mins before every gig and kinda drive everyone a bit mad.”
Reflecting on their whirlwind journey so far, Angeline quickly plays through their highlight reel to date. “Writing songs in a little home studio at the back of Josh’s house. Recording songs in more legit studios so they sound shiny. Hitting the road locally and also all over Europe and the UK most recently. I think we did 18 cities in a month, or something like that? Was wild. Real whistle-stop tour for us.
Didn’t know what country we were in half the time.” Josh chimes in, “Good thing everyone spoke impeccable English, or we would have been done for. Currently working on album number two, actually. Number one is in the can, so gotta keep the momentum up.”
All of which not only goes to introduce Telenova but also their dynamic. Bright, fast, ready to go and whip-smart, it’s that kind of energy that results in a track like ‘Teardrop’. Classy, top-of-the-class pop music that’s matured nicely on the vine, it cuts a high-definition silhouette that’s both immediate and permanent.
“There’s a lot of UK trip-hop and 90s hip-hop-inspired beats across the record”Angeline Armstrong
A gem that Edward had in the vault, the track came to life with a touch of piano, a reworked bassline, and Angeline’s killer vocals. “Ed already had a rough instrumental of ‘Teardrop’ before we started. He brought it into the studio and played it to us, and we were all feeling it. I put the piano part down and re-recorded the bass, and then Ange went ham with the vocals; nek minute, the song was in the ballpark,” Josh recounts.
And the video? That’s Angeline’s realm, blending her film and TV chops with a collaborative spirit that turns good ideas into great ones. “I was actually working in film and TV before I was doing music straight out of uni, so directing on set is very much my happy place. I realised after a few videos that I enjoy bringing my concepts to a co-director to collaborate on for the shoot day because I get very in my own head when it’s just me directing myself in front of the camera as well. It’s just a bit much, lol. Collaborating with different people also allows the ideas to grow and adapt and transform in ways beyond the usual things my creative brain might latch onto.”
“Ed and I always make a small cameo in every video, kinda like the Chemical Brothers would do,” Josh offers. “I’m not much of an actor, so it’s usually just sitting still, looking pensive.”
“I’m trying to get you guys to do some more acting in the third video,” Angeline promises. “We’ll see how convincing I can be.”
“We felt it was the coolest way to introduce the new record to people,” Josh adds of the single. “It’s the most kinda classic Telenova, so it felt like a good place to start the campaign”.
Angeline picks up on how it compares to the rest of their catalogue: “There’s quite a lot of musical influences across the record – I think that comes from our varying musical tastes and backgrounds,” she offers. “‘Folk’ is kind of a dirty word in the studio. I personally love folk music and came from that background, so I do feel a lot of the melodies and lyrics are influenced by that. Josh’s a rock pig. Ed’s production is heavily influenced by hip-hop. In other words, the boys make it badass. There’s a lot of UK trip-hop and 90s hip-hop-inspired beats across the record.”
But it’s not all music, all the time. Yes, Josh has got a solo gig on the side, but also some other… erm… interests. “I’m a music junkie; I’ve made three solo records, and I’m just about to release my fourth, so it’s always just non-stop tunes. I wish I had a boring hobby to take my mind off music, but as yet, I haven’t found it. Kinda keen to try taxidermy at some stage if I can get around to it.”
“Can confirm that the taxidermy obsession is quietly brewing,” Angeline explains. “Josh randomly bought a taxidermied two-headed pigeon recently between soundcheck and the show. It haunts Ed and I to this day.”
Looking ahead, the band have got their sights set on album number two, with Josh already sweating over number three. “Album one is wrapped, and number two is almost all written! I’m stressing about number three already cos I’m a bit of a psycho; I need to learn to relax,” he jests. Edward teases some big news, “I’m not sure what we’re allowed to say here, but we do have a record in the can (finished) and ready for release. Yes. Very exciting times for us to be working with Jim [Chamberlin – Fiction MD] and Lois [Freedman – product manager (it’s an industry thing – Ed)] and the team from Fiction.”
“Album one is wrapped, and number two is almost all written”Josh Moriarty
Angeline recalls her first meeting with the label as something straight out of a fairy tale. “Yeah, when we first met them over Zoom, it was love at first sight. I mean, sometimes you’re meeting ‘industry’ people, and it just feels a little slimy or off or something. But Jim was – my first impression – was that he was this benevolent, long white-haired music wizard. Kind and very passionate about music that felt a little magic. That’s super special. We’re so proud to be partnering with them for this release!”
Oh. And Jim’s brother is in Tool, apparently. Enough to win Josh over.
Their UK connection? “I used to visit London every summer cos my parents had a place there; I love that city. We are definitely hoping to be back this year. It’s looking likely as we have a festival in Greece in June, so it’s just a hop and skip away,” Josh shares. Edward reflects on their past visits, “We came in 2022 and 2023 and loved every second of it. Audiences really seem to connect with our music over there and are such discerning listeners. We’d love to play that summer festival circuit one day. And I believe we’ll be coming over again this year if everything falls into place.”
Angeline is even pondering a move across the pond. “We’ve actually talked about potentially moving there for a stint, so who knows… I think I’ve finally settled into this artistic lifestyle of having no idea what my life is going to look like one month from now. I love the UK; I have a lot of family from there. London is a very cool city, and then everywhere else, I just remember it as being gorgeous woods, spring flowers, and rolling hills.”
For now, though, there are big plans afoot. More shows, getting that debut album out, and possibly more. “I can’t wait for people to hear it,” Josh admits. “We are super proud of it. Might be a chance to get a single from album number two out before the year is out, but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.”
“I hope more people than we could’ve hoped get to hear this record and experience it live,” Angeline concludes. “That would be magic.” ■
Telenova’s new single ‘Teardrop’ is out now. Follow Dork’s Hype Spotify playlist here.