Goomin Nam (whom does music for the Monarch: Heroes of a New Age) plays piano for this incredibly gentle Korean folk band Tellement. It’s first album Winter’s Hedgehog landed at the end of March and is great to while away those cold evenings with warm songs.
“77-7=7”, which is a great track name, opens the album with a warm and gentle acoustic guitar and vocal track. The lead vocals are soft and airy and compliment the warm guitar, and later piano perfectly. It reminds me very much of the Japanese musician Yae. “Hibernate” is equally cute with its ambling piano slowly picking up pace over a quiet skipping drum beat. It eventually builds into a warm and heartfelt mid tempo rock track and gently fades away again, much like the hedgehog itself. “Hangyeryeong” then gives a tender guitar, piano and vocal ballad which absolutely highlights the best of the band. Tellement’s stripped back but melodic approach really plays to their softer side and here it shines brightest.
“Starfall” on the other hand is one of the stronger up tempo tracks and feels like it could be placed straight into a love theme of an anime. It has some great drumming and vocal layering which make it sound extra 80’s among the acoustic rock. “0 am” however does the warm layered vocals better as they cheer on a joyous chorus in the uplifting track as Tellement rejoices “happy world, happy dreams!” It’s my favourite track on the album.
“Icicle” has a great hook and melody but goes with a hushed and wispy vocal delivery to convey the mood which trips over the melody and it doesn’t quite fully flourish until it’s half way through by which point it absolutely hits the spot. “Remaining Days” is primarily a piano and vocal track before the band try to make a big finale of it all but it doesn’t quite have all the power it could have because the beat itself doesn’t speed up at all. “Alleyway” is a jazzy instrumental that showcases the electric guitar in a loveboat TV movie style track. “Alea Iacta Est” has a beautiful chorus using some nice and sympathetic chords that showcase the vocals once again before “Awful Letter” gives a more electric rock track. “2 am” continues with a more jazz infused mid tempo rock before a K-Rock “Snowy Dream” brings things back up to a more memorable level.
The album then closes with the epic ballad of “Killing Me Not” which adds in lots of orchestral synths to the finale and even a bit of a chord change and then “Dead Tree” which ends the winter cycle which is tranquil and regal but not as dramatic as the previous track.
Tellement are very good at making very relaxed and gentle music. It’s problem lies in that a lot of the tracks start to merge into each other and it takes a few listens before you get some stand outs. Best for the quiet evenings and for those whom enjoy a whimsy feeling. Those looking for immediate hooks and anthems will not find joy here.