Tellison – The Wages Of Fear LP

Tellison – The Wages Of Fear

The Wages Of Fear 180gm LP (with HD Download)

West London’s cult alt-indie four piece Tellison return with their sophomore album The Wages Of Fear. A bible of bruises, literary split lips and the kind of shiver-inducing depth of feeling you haven’t experienced since you first heard Bruce Springsteen.

Recorded in one frantic month in an old textile mill owner’s house in the Scottish Borders and then obsessively poured over and added to over months in a Hammersmith basement kitchen, Tellison fly the flag for British bands with a fierce unashamed intelligence, compelling honesty and the kind of teeth-bared, old-fashioned fight that ‘real’ bands seem to lack these days.

After critical acclaim for the bands first long player Contact! Contact! and requests to play shows with Biffy Clyro, Hot Club de Paris, Johnny Foreigner and Noah And The Whale, Tellison wrote and rewrote the songs that would become The Wages Of Fear with only one goal: to make a record better than their first, more complete and more affecting.

The Wages Of Fear in an overall sense is autobiographical. It deals with the frustrations of being in a band as the music industry burns all around like an oil field in the night, with the beginnings and deteriorations of fragile relationships, with the dull longing and search for a sense of order within life that seems so clear in works of art and finally with the abject fear of failure and quiet, aching worry over time wasted and the urgently finite nature of a human life.

Speaking about the album’s title singer/songwriter SH Davidson suggests: “Taken literally The Wages Of Fear describes the album as the result or profit of fear: fear of failing, fear of the future, fear of things changing, fear of things not changing, fear of loss. If read that way the record itself becomes the ‘wages’ earned for several years of dissatisfaction, worry, failure and waste and acts as a warning to others.”

He continues: “Another interpretation of the title describes the dissatisfaction and negative “profit” of working a job that gives you no joy and that you don’t want to do. The money you earn doing it becomes just another part of the thing you dislike and as such gives you no satisfaction. It is a reward for something you didn’t want to do, a profit earned for wasting your life – almost an insult, a reminder of more of your time slipping away without you being brave enough to do something you feel is of value. I wrote a lot of these songs as I was leaving University. I’d spent three years learning about post-modern literary critics and medieval devotional poetry and suddenly I was faced with the reality of cleaning a cinema as my job if I wanted to carry on being a musician. That hurt.”

The institution to which Davidson refers was King’s College, Cambridge where he was enrolled during the release and promotion of Tellison’s debut album. Meanwhile fellow guitarist/songwriter Peter Phillips was down the M40 studying History at Oxford University. From these auspicious quarters Phillips and Davidson would travel by bus and train to the Hammersmith basement where the band have always practiced and recorded. Bassist Andrew Tickell would make the short journey up from the vibrant Kingston music scene where he worked whilst drummer Henry Danowski was himself spread almost impossibly thin working both for his grandfather Henry Moore’s Arts foundation and drumming, recording a never-ending stream of demos and programming the astute electronica that elegantly intersects Tellison’s music.

Unlike their peers Tellison quietly refused to let lack of opportunities stop them and the foursome from Hammersmith simply went back to the basement to do what they’ve always done so well: write honestly great, life-affirming and sometimes heart-breaking indie rock songs.

Produced by Peter Miles

Stephen H Davidson – guitars, vocals

Pete Phillips – guitars, vocals, piano

Henry Danowski – drums, programming

Andrew Tickell – bass, vocals

Luke Leighfield played piano, organ and fender rhodes. Peter Miles clapped and played percussion. Matthew C Roberts played saxophone on Tell It To Thebes.

Written and composed by Stephen H Davidson except Collarbone, Rapture and Vermont by Peter Phillips.

Recorded by Peter Miles and James Bragg @ The Pines, Innerleithen / 17 Aynhoe Road, Hammersmith (1st -30th June 2010)

Mastered by Shawn Joseph @ Optimum Mastering, Bristol (Feb 2011)

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