Do you ever find yourself feeling nostalgic for a place you’ve never been? “Telephone” by Tamaraebi is a psychedelic indie pop tune that transcends genres as we know them, taking us to new places both mentally and sonically. Combining elements of neo-soul, bedroom pop, and psychedelia with a hint of retro-futurist undertones, this song is a vivid daydream all on its own.
The sleek production of such a woozy guitar and echoing, lofty vocals creates a warm, fuzzy effect, immediately transporting the listener to a place where the golden hour sunshine filters through tall, breezy wildflowers. Tamaraebi’s vocals are smooth and sweet as honey, reaching a healthy falsetto as it croons his poetic, theatrical lyrics. Underneath it all swims a deep, grooving bassline reminiscent of 80s alternative favorites, adding a folk punk edge akin to that of The Velvet Underground. Finally, we’re surprised at the end with a fading guitar solo that sounds straight out of the 70s— like Fleetwood Mac’s iconic guitar solo in “The Chain”.
All that being said, “Telephone” doesn’t sound old. Rather, it’s a fresh take on decades worth of alternative music that has raised and defined generations. It takes the best of each movement and reinvents it into something entirely new, but with all the character and charm of listening to your favorite secondhand record. This nostalgia is wrapped in vintage newspapers but tied together with a shiny new bow.
Daniel Tamaraebi Itombra was born in Lagos into a family that moved between countries his entire life. He started singing when he was just two years old, citing that singing brings a sense of togetherness and a sense of purpose. At 16, he landed in Leeds, where he was first introduced to hip-hop. And thus began his love for contemporary music, leading him to performing at open mic nights and Saturday soul-funk sessions while studying Law at Leeds University. After deciding Law wasn’t for him, he decided to make music his life from then on. His debut single, “Brown Angel,” saw critical acclaim from a wide variety of publications from The Times to Clash, and his debut EP is set to release June 2nd.
Written by Jess Ward