With Stained Glass Love, upstart electro-pop trio Telenova takes another small step in their musical journey by releasing a second EP following last year’s successful debut Tranquilize. The brief five-song collection doesn’t diverge from their preliminary effort, but rather serves as the second half to an unfinished idea. Similar to its predecessor, the set draws strength from lead singer Angeline Armstrong’s perfect blend of evocative singing and pleasant melodies that possess enough complexity to be interesting, but resolve with enough strength to be catchy.
The accompanying music can best be described as visual. Spacey arrangements and dramatic changes within the tracks evoke a certain cinematic feel and movement, but remains relatively mellow throughout—for better and for worse. Guitars are subdued, jazzy low-key piano trills come and go, and the synths sound warm and organic. Well crafted verses and bridges tease a climactic catharsis in the chorus, but the laid-back vibe of the album prevents it from ever arriving. That’s not to say the hooks aren’t solid—they are—but at times it feels that Telenova is holding back.
For a second outing, Stained Glass Love contains some great, surprisingly polished music. The title track, “Scarlet,” and “Haunted” all deserve repeated listenings. Whether or not Telenova can expand beyond their mellifluous comfort zone, take a few more artistic chances, and deliver an LP with a couple radio hits remains to be seen.