We chat to the Canberrans before they take to The Gaso.
The ACT has a knack of producing high-quality acts. The story starts with SAFIA, the electronic indie-pop trio responsible for such hits, ‘Starlight’, ‘Make Them Wheels Roll’ and ‘Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues’. Hands Like Houses and Peking Duk swim alongside them while the youthful Moaning Lisa are also making a big name for themselves of late. Then there’s fellow high-school-band-turned-rockers Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers, a band skyrocketing into consciousness with their rambunctious energy and riot grrrl attitude.
2019 saw the four 19-year-old females deliver stellar performances at the likes of Groovin the Moo, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Falls Festival, Lost Paradise, Spilt Milk and Canberra’s own Stonefest, in addition to their standout at-capacity show for BIGSOUND.
Joining Australian heavyweights Polish Club, Northeast Party House, Alex Lahey, Press Club, Spiderbait and WAAX for shows, plus scoring a national support run with Slowly Slowly, Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers have slipped seamlessly into their position at the forefront of the Australian music industry watchlist.
Moving into 2020, the Teasers have so much in store for another fruitful year, starting with their release of new single, the teen anthem ‘Desk Chair’ which spawned from a last-minute music assignment.
“It was very much exam period time. I wrote the song when I was in year 11 so I would have been 16 I think. So it was kind of like we were all in our very first relationships and just emotions running wild and everyone was breaking out and having the worst time and we were still gigging and stuff,” guitarist Scarlett McKahey explains.
“I actually think I originally wrote it because I forgot about a music assignment [laughs] and was lucky enough to have the rest of the gals like it and want to play it and record it. It was very much that kind of ATAR trials week, kind of cutting your own fringe in the bathroom type mental breakdown period I think. You can probably hear that in there. It’s like creating your own problems that are worse than the original ones. It’s so bad! I don’t know what we were all thinking.”
Not only does the song reflect the trials of teen life, it also feels oddly nostalgic in sound with some filing it next to early 2000’s grunge and others slotting it in with the 2010 indie generation. There is a faint familiar fragrance that seeps through but it’s not a conscious effort on the girls’ part.
“We haven’t really thought about where the sound really comes from. It has been forged together over the years through all of our teenage phases that I’m sure everybody has had. For sure, we went through some power-pop, techno-inspired phases and whatnot, and all of that has rolled into what we do now, which I guess sounds nostalgic for some people because they probably went through the same things.”
‘Desk Chair’ is a strong soldier song to come in the Teasers army but it may not belong to a platoon. For now, the girls are happy releasing singles and don’t know what the future holds in terms of EP and album writing.
“We don’t really have any set plans for EPs or albums right now. It’s not part of anything yet but who knows what we decide on,” McKahey says.
Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers are taking ‘Desk Chair’ on an Australian tour, starting in their home town of Canberra and sprinkling their magic across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide with supports Sputnik Sweetheart and Kitschen Boy, with international touring in their sights thereafter.
Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers hit The Gaso (sold out) on Friday March 6. Give ‘Deck Chair’ a spin via streaming services.