Like a John Hughes movie or a thrift store cardigan sweater, the driving rhythm and earnest melody of TELLTALE is both familiar and reinvigorating in equal measure.
The quartet crafts anthems that immediately connect with the kids who pack clubs and theaters to see newer bands like Neck Deep as well as the older set that cherish early records from Fall Out Boy and Lifetime, but with their own distinctive spin. All over the Richmond, Virginia based band’s catalogue, TELLTALE spin stories that are as relatable as growing pains.
From Saves the Day to State Champs, what each colorful stripe on the pop-punk banner has in common is a determination to never grow up. It’s music for people holding fast against the onset of bitterness and regret, reaching to adolescent hopes for the strength to wrestle present day anxieties.
Made with earnest ambition and emotional precision, the band’s breakout EP Timeless Youth is a short burst of yearning, soul-searching, melodic desperation, reaching upward toward a peace of mind and wellbeing that is too often frustratingly out of reach. Produced by Zach Jones (As It Is, Fever 333, Lil Lotus), the record follows the breathtaking Good Intentions EP, which was released less than a year after TELLTALE’s initial formation in January 2017.
As singer John Carteret told Substream, “Timeless Youth” is an anthem against complacency. “Growing into your late teens and early twenties, you lose a lot of friends in more ways than one. You take blame for mistakes that aren’t yours and forget what it’s like to know the freedom of naivety. ‘Timeless Youth’ is about retaining a sense of wanderlust, even when you feel confined to a certain path.”
TELLTALE have steadily charted their own path through impassioned performances and friendly charm, supporting bands like Broadside, As It Is, Real Friends, Assuming We Survive and Young Culture, both at home and on the road.
With heavy doses of saccharine sentiment and self-aware camp, these guys are perfecting the recipe. At a rapid pace, Telltale continues to carve a new heart into the solid tree of pop punk. They are fresh champions for the underdog, a group who makes the everyday soundtrack for the uninvited, brokenhearted, and cast aside.