The Telephone Line
Released February 13, 2017
By Melanie Stangl
It’s been over a year since we’ve heard new material from local pop/rock/soul band The Telephone Line—their debut full-length, “Tied Up,” came out in November 2015. Luckily, that wait is about to be over. On February 13th, they’re premiering a brand new single, “Caving In,” a rollicking ode to feelings that knock you off your feet. (The proximity of its release date to Valentine’s Day is fitting.) And it’s a song you’re likely to love, too—“Caving In” is a captivating mix of energetic and smooth. Passion and heart coexist with shimmering details, such as soft high vocal lines (both backup and lead) and lovely floating key riffs. Insistent drums, funky basslines, and guitar solos that occasionally shred provide a foot-tapping foundation, all tied together with Twigg’s powerhouse voice. The band’s sharp instincts for building up layers of sound are on full display here—this is their signature style, kicked up a notch.
The Telephone Line features Addi Twigg on lead vocals, Jay Krivanek on guitar, Lacey Volk on bass, Joseph Gustafson on keys/guitar, and Brad Crouse on drums. Missy Moreno and Gretchen Bluemle provide backup vocals on this track, which was recorded and produced by Krivanek, mixed by Buddy Hall, and mastered by Robert “Trippy” Garrison.
We begin with a cool bass solo (which, personally, I always appreciate) and an insistent kick drum, that’s soon joined by a fast-paced tambourine—an upbeat start that draws you in. A funky guitar riff and sparkling electronic keys are soon added to the mix, before Twigg’s vocals appear. The higher, slightly breathy head voice she adapts at first is appropriate for the lyrics: “I feel my knees, giving/I can’t keep living, this way.” Swoony background vocals from Moreno and Bluemie join in just before the chorus, and their recurrence throughout the song is intoxicating. When that chorus kicks in, it’s high-energy: the drums pick up more speed and complexity, the keys come in stronger and lower in their range, and Twigg’s belts the song’s unavoidable assertion, “Fallin’ for ya, yeah.”
Along with the catchy ebb and flow of the instruments, the band makes shrewd decisions lyrically. The added reverb during the second verse reflects the words (“I feel like I’m tripping/I know my mind’s slippin’ away”), while the higher density and faster rhythm of the words during the bridge mirrors the increasing intensity of the speaker’s feelings. Other highlights include the return of that signature bass riff, as well as a swanky electric key solo from Gustafson during the bridge.
Safe to say, you won’t be able to keep from cavig’ in to this track’s fun, energetic groove, that’s clearly put together with a keen sense of sonic layering and structure. It’s a promising sign for the future of The Telephone Line.
The single drops on February 13th, and will be available for streaming and download on their Bandcamp. Check out Caving In below along with their music video. They’ll also be performing at two benefit shows in the upcoming weeks. The first, on February 18th, is a benefit for Standing Rock, featuring several more artists among other festivities; find more details here. On March 10th, they’ll also be performing in a fundraising concert for the county-wide charity organization The Free Store; other performers include Bad Custer and The Rents. Find more information on that here.