“A wonderful defiance”: Telescreens’ “Burns” Delivers Fresh, Raw Vulnerability from the New York City Rock n’ Roll Trailblazers

Telescreens © Kylie Bly
Telescreens © Kylie Bly
Real and raw, “Burns” is unlike anything we’ve ever heard from New York City indie rock band Telescreens.
Stream: “Burns” – Telescreens

Released on April 12th, “Burns” is unlike anything we’ve ever heard from Telescreens, which is ironic considering it is over 5 years old, by far the oldest song on their forthcoming debut record. It begins with sparse strums of frontman Jackson Hamm’s Gibson SG; you can hear the feedback from the live room as he stumbles through a poetic first verse, giving way to his distant British accent that comes out in shows from time to time.

It’s his vocal that sounds fresh, though.

Burns - Telescreens
Burns – Telescreens
Leave the meter running
Tryna see it coming
I’m on the brink of understanding
All I’m thinking
Close in hand
I’m sorry that
I left you there
A lot was said the words aren’t clear
I know
So give it all for nothing
There’s something sick and touching
You were there when ice was cold
I set you off
The story’s told
I’m sorry that I messed it up
I never meant to let you know I would
Lord I would

If you’ve been privy to a Telescreens live show, or any of their music that is already out, you’ll feel the energy banging through the floors; you’ll taste the influence of New York City in their production right from the get-go.

But in “Burns,” all bets are off.  You can hear the sheer honesty from Hamm, his voice cracking and apologetic. “I’m sorry that I left you there, a lot was said, the words unclear, I know.”


And as we begin to close our eyes and settle into the soft delivery, the tempo of the guitar picks up and the kick drum slaps us in the face; the build is reminiscent of something like early 2000s blink-182. Just like that, we are reacclimated to the new-age rock sensibilities of the Telescreens that we love so much. Big drum breaks from Oliver Graf, a swimming bass line out of Austin Brenner, dreamy back-end synths from Josiah Valerius, and a catchy lead guitar from Jackson Hamm; it’s the culmination of a really good song from a really happening band.

Cuz I gave it up to see
Everything I’m missing
It’s hardly been a blessing
Waiting for the check I
Am wondering if you’re right
Like maybe I’m mistaken
My mind is kind of breaking
And I can’t understand you
When you say the time
Give it up for so long
Wait and I get undone
See if I could undo
What you have done to me
Give it up to fight it
A wonderful defiance
Wonderful defiance

“I wrote [‘Burns’] after hours of beating my head against the wall trying to write an essay in my college library,” Hamm shared upon the track’s release. “The whole song came out of me in under 10 minutes. I recorded it years later after I lost money trying to capitalize on the GameStop short squeeze.”

Telescreens © Kylie Bly
Telescreens © Kylie Bly

Every night
you sit there mystified by pain
Until there’s no one left to blame
And you’re the one that’s left insane

Alex Poeppel, Telescreens’ main producer, and one of the most exciting producers coming out of New York right now, has yet again found a way to translate the feeling of seeing the boys live, moshing with a crowd, into our AirPods; it’s real and raw, but polished where it needs to be. Coinciding with Poeppel’s production chops is a mix by the master, Alex Tumay, who has worked with artists like Young Thug, Drake, and 21 Savage.

It’s special, the way that a Telescreens’ record comes together. You know that there is so much love that goes into everything they do, and they keep it in the family when it comes to collaboration.

Telescreens will be performing “Burns” at Governor’s Ball this summer; mark it in your calendar now and stay tuned for their new album on the way in 2024.

Oh my god it’s coming
Waiting for the summit
Then you start to plummet
Falling through the sky
Give it all away
See if you could say how
See if you could say how
Every night
you sit there mystified by pain
Until there’s no one left to blame
And you got nothing left to say
Feel it flowing through
The fire burns you
When you thought
the thunder brought the rain
Now you’re the one
That’s left insane

— —

:: stream/purchase Burns here ::
:: connect with Telescreens here ::
Stream: “Burns” – Telescreens

— — — —

Burns - Telescreens

Connect to Telescreens on
Facebook, Threads, TikTok, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Kylie Bly

:: Stream Telescreens ::

More from Noah Berghammer
dba James Is Doing Business As Usual
It was a busy night for music in New York as dba...
Read More