“Teenage Sweater reminds us that the 80’s and Napoleon Dynamite really were cool. An enigma of past and present, they hold the power of pleasing our every emotions. From sad or happy- disparaged or elated, their music will entertain all our intrinsic guilty pleasures provided with a soundtrack of danceable requiems. They uncover the death of a past musical decade, but they celebrate the current era we live; and they live the shit out of it. Don’t ignore this Teenage Sweater. Cherish it until it becomes another great heirloom.”
After seeing this Bay Area duo live at Cafe Du Nord, I knew this electro band deserved credit for what they’ve become. I say “become” because they are like a niece or nephew that I’ve watched grow from afar. They once played a party at my house about five years ago and through breaks of dancing, people kept whispering, “who the hell is this”? Now people know, especially after just signing a deal with Bay Area’s Tricycle Records and adding new elements to their live show- live drums and synchronized lights. Their new album, Concentration, is layered with feel good electro rhythms but is also very intimate and contextualized, much like the efforts of their past heroes Joy Division and the Smiths. There is thought behind this album and it demands and deserves your concentration. Their live show is where the band shines with intricate drumming by Connor Alfaro and high powered energy rearing from the multi-talented frontman Mario Armando Ruiz. They sing in a style that would make Morrissey smile over hypnotizing electronic dream pop that would make the Grinch want to hop.
The formula contains notes of classic new wave‚ Joy Division and New Order are easily heard in the nuances of Teenage Sweater’s songs and a healthy dose of its modern incarnation, chillwave. Teenage Sweater is cheerful music for introverts. Indeed, everything about Teenage Sweater is somewhat light hearted, even the band name.
Teenage Sweater usually keeps things light, with songs like the diaphanous, waves-crashing-on-the-beach-while-you-snuggle-your-prom-date tune, “Coconut Water” and the slightly less upbeat ‚”Oceans and Seas,” which brings to mind a slightly overcast day at an amusement park, with it’s tinny synths and far away vocal mix. But the duo now prepares to step it up a notch, with a deeper and darker sound on their new LP, “Concentration” soon to be released on Tricycle Records on March 5th 2013.