Get To Know – Teenanger

We Say…

Established members of the Toronto DIY-Scene, Teenanger have been sharing their music with the world for over a decade now. In that time they’ve released five albums as well as sharing stages with the likes of Metz and Death From Above. Following their fifth album, 2017’s self-titled offering, the band were hit by an uncharacteristic spate of writer’s block, one they’ve thankfully now broken, which will be evidenced by the October release of their new album, Good Time.

While we await the album’s arrival, the band have this week shared the latest single from it, Romance For Rent. Combining shuffling Latin-influenced percussion with laid-back guitars and easy vocal melodies, it comes across like the middle ground of Television and Talking Heads. The track follows hot-on-the-tails of two other offerings from the record, the angular post-punk of Trillium Song and the more garage-rock influenced tones of Touching Glass. This already feels like a triumphant return, a band kicking off the shackles of the past and roaring into exciting new terrain, although Teenanger might not be teens anymore, they’ve never sounded better.

They Say…

Photo by Jake Sherman

FTR: For those who don’t know who are Teenanger?

For those who don’t know us, we are Chris, Jon, Melissa and Steve. A group of best friends who have been playing together for 13 years. We are based in Toronto, Canada. People often mispronounce our name as Teenager which used to irk us but now we just laugh.

FTR: What can you remember about your first show?

It was in the late summer/early fall of 2007. We played at a bar that doesn’t normally host shows called The Embassy in Toronto’s Kensington Market. We played on a rickety makeshift stage that was erected by the owner of the bar. It was cantilevered off of the bar counter. There was zero clearance to move around. I remember playing to very little people. I drank alone in a parkette beforehand because I was nervous. Overall, I don’t think we bombed. Two shows after we played at a strip club. We cut our teeth in unconventional venues.

FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?

I can’t speak for everyone but I just sort of fell into it when I was in my teenage years. I would love to pursue another art form before I kick the bucket. I’ve always been drawn to sculpting and pottery.

FTR: What can people expect from the Teenanger live show?

You can expect us grooving harder, less spitting (which I used to do quite a bit and won’t do anymore because of COVID), more banter for Steve the drummer between songs, Melissa singing more songs, Jon saying even less, playing on higher stages so we are able to exhibit our snazzy footwear, inserting more bombastic instrumentation ie. triangle, china crash, mountain dulcimer, etc.

FTR: What’s next for Teenanger?

Keep working on and releasing new material. COVID or be damned. It’s one of the only escapes we have as individuals from an otherwise dumpster fire year.

They Listen To…

Souls Of Mischief – Cab Fare

I first heard this track many moons ago. I was at a party. Some friends and I cut outside to smoke a joint. Walked back inside and this track was playing. It really moved me in the moment and I still love it to this day. The partly sped up Bob James sample is perfect and the Souls Of Mischief’s flow is amazing.

Gwen Guthrie – It Should Have Been You

Big Gwen Guthrie fan. She’s responsible for the heavy hitters “Hopscotch”, “Padlock” and “Aint Nothin’ Going’ On But The Rent”. This is another catchy song in her arsenal. 

Ronald Langestraat – Lowdown

This song was originally written and performed by Boz Scaggs. This version infinitely tromps the original in my opinion. Ronald Langestraat is a virtuoso musician from The Netherlands. You should definitely get into his other releases.

Alice Coltrane – Krishna Krishna

Alice Coltrane was an amazing entity. She was so centred and talented. I watched a 16mm short documentary available through the Smithsonian Institute earlier in the pandemic. It was absolutely beautiful and so is the record this track is off of.

Mr. Fingers – What About This Love

I love Larry Heard and mostly like my songs smooth lately. I listen to a lot of Mr. Fingers when I go running. A Chicago house OG.

Good Time is out October 2nd via Telephone Explosion Records. Click HERE for more information on Teenanger.

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