From their ‘ones to watch’ status that blossomed into the band being crowned the Triple J Unearthed High winners, Teenage Joans has already undertaken the journey of a lifetime. With experience most could only dream of, not to mention a fresh and invigorated sound born from the youth and captivating dedication of the band, Teenage Joans has launched into their next big move; the release of their debut EP ‘Taste Of Me’. Through a five-track performance of powerful pop-punk and authenticity unmatched by any other, Teenage Joans has given us an incredible taste into their skills and style within ‘Taste Of Me’.
‘Ice Cream’, the first track of the EP, holds an incredible vibrancy- a refreshing sense of fun and carelessness to the issues surrounding them, although targeting that exact problem. With strong riffs and an anthemic chorus, this track becomes the soundtrack to self-reflection and a reminder of the band’s ability to intertwine thoughts of hopelessness into feelings of unification.
“Sometimes in life it feels like you’re trying so much harder than the people around you, but you’re still falling behind (like getting a head start in the race of life, but still placing last). We wanted people screaming along to wanting to feel better, like a toddler screams about wanting their ice cream. One of our favourite things to do in our songs is juxtaposing serious topics using childlike metaphors to get the point across in a different way”
Track two, ‘Apple Pie’, strips back from the usual to instead present understated instrumentals that capture a clear focus on the unique and inherently Australian vocals of the band- a sound that of course makes Teenage Joans so homely and comforting. Much like its title, this is a sweet track that weaves through waves of intensity and vulnerability. Multifaceted in its composition and meaning, cutting into this song gives you a perfect slice into the inner workings of the track, and the storytelling capabilities of the band.
‘Something About Being Sixteen’ finds itself situated in the middle of the EP, and of course, is already a fan favourite. Laced with a nostalgic pop-punk sound, the band offers us something reminiscent of the past through a refreshing and exciting lens- making it one of those songs to remember. The vocal performance within this track also presents a duality, twisting between emotional and determined, fluctuating through the rush of feelings this song conveys. With a punchy chorus and guitar, ‘Something About Being Sixteen’ leaves a mark on individuals of all ages, resonating with truly anyone that listens.
Track four is ‘Therapist’. Although a subverted and less pronounced track compared to its counterparts, it still demands your attention through its quirkiness and genuine composition. The melodic and melancholic track guides you through surges of energy, slopes of a journey from happiness to thoughts of an existential nature, (definitely fitting when revisiting the title). The major tonal shifts of this song perhaps make it one of the most exciting, truly not knowing what is around every twist and bend!
Finalising the EP is ‘Wine’. Channeling all they have in regards to angsty pop-punk and familiar musical roots, Teenage Joans have composed a closer that is showstopping. Filled to the brim with energy, emotion, and eagerness to share their music with the world, ‘Wine’ throws all the band has at the listener, and in turn, has created an earworm of a song. Not to mention, the song perfectly embodies that of a coming-of-age anthem, sharing the many dilemmas of growing up. Finishing with a bang, Teenage Joans leave a sweet taste in the mouth.
As far as first impressions go, Teenage Joans have perfectly curated their first body of work, presenting a tracklist that is authentic, yet still holds the much-loved characteristics of one of Australia’s favourite genres; pop-punk. ‘Taste Of Me’ provides an incredible glimpse into the many talents of the band, including their capabilities as performers and of course, their unique touch. Most importantly, it is a reminder of the universality of music and experiences, and the ability we all hold to relate to such a young and capturing band.