Friday 16 November 2012


I have been listening to this new Teenage Sweater EP Kewl whilst watching the live stream of cats that is currently doing the rounds - if you haven't seen it yet, get to bloody see it. Anyway, that is beside the point. The point is that here's some nice music for a slow Friday afternoon.

Coming from California, the music of Teenage Sweater on this EP is reflective of the lazy languishing sunny days by the beach that I am sure typifies many a day in many a Californian's life, the heat bearing down, the sea, the wide roads... I can't say for sure, but for me it evokes that kind of inescapable landscape. Of course, as with every other place in the world, there are seasons by the sea - some of them are nicer than others. This has been explored in the Kewl EP, with a sound that is equal amounts idyllically carefree and almost heartrending.

The latter is perhaps best illustrated in the last song of the EP, the aptly named, depressing last-dance-sounding 'Bummer Summer'. The long and quite often boring days of summer can often feel like the sound of this song, drawn out, fuzzy, cyclical. The other side of the coin can be heard in the touching sounds of opener 'Coconut Water', sweet with that xylophone sound thrown into the mix. Overall, the lo-fi, shoegaze, old-drum-machine aesthetic in which these songs are soaked works well for all dynamics - slow, as well as fast and boppy, like the fast pogo-sticker 'SWEAT', almost the antithesis of a surf song, but with all the right elements: a mean melody, hard-working drums, no vocals (the last few seconds of this one are ace).

The composition of 'Bored Cop In A Small Town' is by far the best, in my opinion, featuring the best opening-up of sound on the EP, the perfect mix of a wall of distortion decorated with synths and that nearly-drowned vocal, that is also at its best in the dirge-like, yet bittersweet 'Oceans And Seas'.

So if you like old, old-sounding drum machines, New Order, lo-fi, shoegaze, chillwave, then Teenage Sweater is for you. Listen below. The EP is out now.

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