TEEN wants to grow up - no, seriously
Youth: a major theme across almost all genres of music. Whether it's celebrating being young, dealing with the pain that often ails the young, or reminiscing about one's youth, the subject has been constantly, as it should be, revisited by songwriters throughout the ages. "Tokyo," by Brooklyn-based TEEN, an all-female foursome consisting of the three Lieberson sisters and Boshra Al-Saadi, transplants from Halifax, indirectly addresses the topic of youth by telling the story of a phenomena rarely lyrically discussed: losing interest in one's spouse as they grow older. The tale spun by TEEN's frontwoman Teeny Lieberson sheds light on the collectively experienced but largely ignored societal fear of aging and concurrent fixation with feeling and appearing young as long as possible. To quote Teeny herself, "We would prefer to live in the fantasy of young skin rather than face our growth and relinquish control to our inevitable death."
TEEN's cheery, but slightly heavy vintage dream pop style somewhat masks the seriousness of the topic and makes this potentially gut-wrenching subject more palatable. Part of what makes TEEN's music so captivating is their ability to not only to play and sing, but their ability to play and sing together: all four members contribute vocally and the band records their songs playing live together. "Tokyo" is all over the map in terms of musical styles, incorporating twisted, distorted synths, chirping woodwinds, stabbing horns, an atypical waltz rhythm in the chorus, and rock-inspired percussion. With vocal timbre that harkens back to the days of Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Teeny Lieberson leads the charge against the idea of pathetically and destructively holding onto one's youth, embraces the process of aging, and subliminally urges listeners to realize that clutching to youth is a fruitless endeavor, only to be met with disappointment. "Tokyo" is the second single off of TEEN's upcoming album Love Yes, released on February 19.