After taking out the triple j unearthed high crown in 2020, Adelaide two-piece Teenage Joans are riding that momentum right through to their unveiling today of their debut EP Taste of Me.
The 5-track release contains previous singles ‘Ice Cream’ and ‘Something About Being Sixteen’ as well as three brand new bites.
“This EP is super special to us, it’s like our little baby! we’ve been sitting on these songs for so long and have worked so hard during our practices and live performances to get them where they are now,” says the band’s Tahlia Borg. “A few of the songs are some of the first songs we ever wrote together and we are so excited for them to be out in the world!”
To compound the good news, Teenage Joans have also announced dates for their debut national headline tour in support of the EP. This July they’ll be swinging through Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Woolongong, Melbourne and Adelaide. Head here for show dates and tickets.
Before then, as a special treat for Music Feeds, Teenage Joans have kindly taken us through the new EP, track by track. Have a read (and a listen) below.
‘Ice Cream’ is about feeling like your best just isn’t good enough. 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).
Dynamically, we tried to nail the ups and downs of life through the music. We sweetened up the first pre-chorus because sometimes, receiving advice like “try your best and you’ll be satisfied” makes things feel okay for a moment.
In the studio, we had the idea of adding in an ice cream truck sound playing the riff that we wrote for the song. We were super keen to add in as much “ear candy” as we could, to bring our audience on a journey through the story of the song.
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.
‘Apple Pie’ is the second track on our EP. It’s our angsty “I like you, but not in that way” song. It’s definitely one of the weirder songs we’ve written, and we absolutely love it for that.
The song is about someone romanticising the idea of you without really knowing you. “I can be sweet but I’m no apple pie” is one of my (Cahli’s) favourite lyrics I’ve ever written, and when we were writing it Tahlia had the genius idea of switching the second pre-chorus to “you can be sweet but you’re no apple pie” to emphasise the idea that no person is perfect, and in this situation especially not for each other.
We really tried to nail the attitude in this song, both lyrically and musically. When we were recording it in the studio we wanted to add a lot of what we call “ear candy” to emphasise the quirks in the lyrics (the outside noises that aren’t made by guitars and drums). When we were writing it we were getting a lot of inspiration from grunge-pop type music like beabadoobee.
Something About Being Sixteen
‘Something About Being Sixteen’ (better known as SABS) is the raw and honest Teenage Joans experience. Through the catchy riffs and melodies, the song dynamically rolls in waves, focusing on the emotional turmoil of holding on to a person that shouldn’t be held on to.
“This is overdue, I’m getting over you” is the liberating hook that sets the narrator free from the boundaries of being in love with someone who isn’t good for them. The first verse talks about the ups and downs of life, saying “it’s funny how life goes” in the sense that each person lives their highs and lows completely individually and at different times to anyone else.
Continuing on with “it’s funny how people show”, the second verse highlights the irony of people showing their true colours when things get messy. Using the unspoken metaphor of cellophane, we talk about “put[ting] them up to the light [to] see their skin and bone”, the bittersweet juxtaposition of something known to be beautiful being described in a gross way.
SABS is our great take on the classic coming of age rock tune.
‘Therapist’ was the first song we wrote for the EP, and funnily enough we never actually expected it to end up here! It was supposed to be our very first release ever, and we actually recorded a version of it when we were in the studio recording our first two singles ‘By The Way’ and ‘Three Leaf Clover’. It never got released because we wanted to perfect it before we released it, and we weren’t 100% sold on the original recording.
It’s definitely a crowd favourite, and we’ve had crowds for years now belting out the bridge “you’re just wasting time trying to fix my mind/you are not my therapist” at shows. Not gonna lie, it’s our least favourite Teenage Joans song but people love it so much that we felt it was necessary that it ended up on our debut release.
In saying that, we’re super thrilled about the recording, even though we felt it was the hardest one to perfect in the studio. The second pre-chorus where I go “ah wait, I forgot again!” was me genuinely forgetting the original words. We decided to keep that take because we actually liked it better than the original lyrics that were there.
‘Wine’ is the closing track to the EP, our personal favourite Teenage Joans song, and possibly even the best song we’ve written at this point in time.
There was a lot of pressure in doing this song justice because it’s definitely one of the deeper songs we’ve written. Although it feels happy and upbeat, it talks about the strenuous push and pull of two people growing apart in a relationship and the bittersweet feeling of it being no one’s fault.
The strangest thing about the writing process of this song is that it actually started with the bridge. The climax lyric in the song “you aged like wine and I still haven’t aged to like wine” is a lyric that we are so incredibly proud of and sometimes can’t even believe that we wrote.
We wanted the song to feel like a coming of age movie song, and we want people to feel like the main character when they listen to it.