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September 27, 2010 | by  | in Music |
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The Teledermatologist Handbook

Artist: Paperghost
Album: The Teledermatologist Handbook
Label: Sonorous Circle

The Teledermatologist Handbook sounds maybe sort of like the missing link between Radiohead and Magnum PI. So, I guess, beautifully crafted lo-fi indie pop tunes with a badass moustache? Yeah, that sounds weird, but probably the best kind of weird there is—making it an apt summary for this album.

The Teledermatologist Handbook
is the debut album from Wellington musician, Paperghost (a.k.a. Zach Webber) featuring additional talent from the likes of Grayson Gilmour, Reece McNaughten and Heather Barnes.

It’s an impressive first outing boasting a hefty 15 tracks, each one effortlessly rolling on from the last. Intricate keys are laced together with jaunty drums, haunting strings and, not least of all, delicate, floating vocal melodies. There’s something of a spooky atmosphere suspended in the songs, and the teasing mystery of not being able to decipher everything that’s going on, makes it an eerily playful listen.

While the production is smooth and carefully calculated, packing in both depth and offbeat ambience, it has enough lenience not to become too restricting or predictable. The bustling outro of opening track ‘Rabbit Kick’ has a measured chaos to it with quick, teetering keys, spazzy trumpets and bone rattling screams.

This careful chaos takes residence early in the album and refuses to relent. The Teledermatologist Handbook has a way of lulling you with dreamily sweet, syrupy tunes before pulling the rug from under you by throwing in an unexpected pace-hitching drumbeat, such as on ‘Giant Quiet City’, the plunging disorientation of ‘In the Future We’ll Go to War So We Can Base New Computer Games on New Wars’ or the sudden noisy strength of ‘Sneaker Country’ with vocals and synth breaking through the gentle, swirling intro. It almost feels like it shouldn’t work. On the contrary, it’s moments like these that make it so fresh, inspired and purely endearing.


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