Last year was a breakthrough year for the rising, Melbourne, Australia-based indie rock act Telescreen — Nic Schwarz, Dan Carolan, Ali Ward, Matt Martin and Ollie McIntyre — with EP title track “Growing Pains” getting regular rotation on Triple J Unearthed and community radio across the country. “Growing Pains” was featured on British blog Scientists of Sound before landing at #1 on the global Hype Machine charts. And as a result, the track garnered 15,000 SoundCloud streams within a few days. The rising Aussie act also released their first music video for EP track “In Mind,” which received airplay on rage, a national music video show — and was featured on popular music site ClippedTV.
Adding to a growing profile, the band opened for for the likes of Mosquito Coast, STUMPS, DIET., Francesca Gonzales, Creature Fear and The Attics, before eventually selling out their biggest headlining shows. And they played some of their first festival sets in the history. Interestingly, with the band’s rapidly growing profile, the band’s frontman Nic Schwarz left his full-time job to pursue music full-time. Schwarz has spent most of this past year cowriting with producers and artists across Australia through video conferencing during pandemic-related shutdowns and in-person when he could.
Of course, much like countless other bands across the globe, the members of Telescreen had hopes of making big moves this year, but they all managed to buckle down to write new material, including their latest single “Moving On.” Officially, serving as the follow-up to their attention grabbing debut EP, “Moving On” is centered around a rousingly anthemic, shout-along worthy hook, angular guitar blasts, staccato hi-hat and a slick, radio friendly production. However, under the studio polish, the song expresses the anger, frustration, shock and dismay over a disconnected and failing social order — but through the prism of a romantic relationship gone wrong.
“We, as a group, felt as though there was this real disconnect between the actions of Australia’s leaders and the true needs of those affected by the fires,” the band’s frontman Nic Schwarz says in press notes. “‘Moving On’ addresses our politicians’ disregard for public opinion, along with their seemingly growing inaction and detachment from issues in order to protect their self-interests.”
Earlier this year, the members of Telescreen put together a benefit show with fellow rising Melbourne acts Feelds and El Tee to raise much-needed funds for bushfire relief. And although, the year has been a loss, they did receive some incredibly good news: they won this year’s Triple J Unearthed NIDA Competition, in which the winner would be provided an opportunity to work with a team of students from the National Institute of Dramatic Art to create a music video. (Full credits are below, if you’re curious. Plus, we should try to always shout out talented young people, right?)
Shot with pandemic-related restrictions and limitations, the entire creative team came up with a bold and striking visual featuring a diverse cast of models/actors at a photoshoot. Initially forced to conform through wearing all black outfits. But as the video progresses, the actors strike back out of frustration and annoyance, eventually letting their freak flags — and their true selves proudly fly.