The Teenagers

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I n a gust of pheromones and with a warm purr of guitars arrives the saviour of French indie pop, The Teenagers. 2008 has seen few Europeans garner more fevered hype than these three Parisian dreamboats, proving once and for all that style and substance needn’t be mutually exclusive. At a time when far too many seemed to be sat waiting for the next novelty bandwagon to jump onboard, this trio of hipper-than-thou ne’r-do-wells have reignited the imaginations of clued-up music lovers across the globe with a curve ball of pervy wit, classic synth-work, and sunshine strumming. Together vocalist Quentin Dalafon, guitarist/synth man Dorian Dumont and bassist Michael Szpinner, have created a daydream world of enchanting melodies and engrossing narratives, as life-affirming as they are insatiably hormonal, and of course all delivered with that trademark audaciously sharp Parisian attitude. Their invitation to either celebrate or recapture one’s youth has proved a hard one to turn down, with a hysterical fanbase growing by the second. And now on the eve of the release of their debut long-player, they stride from underground chic into the mainstream limelight, as one of the world’s most enticing and individual new musical sensations.

Fittingly the bond between the three twenty-somethings was formed in the midst of their teenage years, when childhood pals Michael and Dorian stumbled across Quentin, one of their high school’s true eccentrics. Together, like many kids in Nineties inner city Paris, they fawned over the import of American trash TV, revelling in the sickly-sweet coming-of-age melodrama of shows like Beverly Hills 90210, something that would stay with them. Growing-up together musically, trading mixtapes, they developed a rich tapestry of influences, from national hero Jaques Le Cont and his one-time collaborator Madonna, to classic Nineties rock like Weezer and Nirvana, and further afield to the metal cry of Slayer and Dillinger Escape Plan. Although both Dorian and Michael had spent their teens in and out of bands (Dorian trying his hand at pop and electronica, Michael doing the rounds on their local hardcore punk scene), it wasn’t until one boozy Christmas evening in 2005 that they finally decided to put their creative heads together. The result was 'Fuck Nicole' which prompted the boys to officially form The Teenagers and start a Myspace page. It wasn’t long before their unmistakable sound emerged, with tracks like 'Homecoming' and 'Starlett Johansson' rapidly causing a stir online. These tasters showcased Quentin’s sardonic, often spoken word delivery, and deliciously sleazy lyrics, against a sublime backdrop of woozy synthesisers, simple drum machines and fluttering, twee guitars. A familiar Noughties success story followed – insane online attention gave way to a record industry cat-fight – with label du-jour Merok/XL (having launched the careers of Klaxons and Crystal Castles) winning through in the end.

2007 beckoned with a slew of releases in the pipeline. First up was the group’s X-rated rallying cry, 'Homecoming', already an anthem in some circles by the time it hit shop shelves. The release was complimented by the couldn’t-be-more-perfect promo video by acclaimed director Kinga Burza (Kate Nash etc), nailing the track’s playful, saucy mood with startling poignance. Starlett Johansson – a heart-felt, and typically droll ode to their favourite Hollywood starlet - followed later in the year, coinciding with the group’s first full-scale tour, joining fellow trendsetters Crystal Castles and These New Puritans on Vice Magazine’s show-stopping Unitaur. The massive increase of commitments meant that Dorian and Michael were to join Quentin in the London.

From there they’d meet long-term collaborator Lexxx in the studio to ready their first album 'Reality Check'. The precursor singles are joined by huge new tracks like 'Love No', 'Feeling Better' and others. While the band’s components aren’t dissimilar too many an act of the moment, their implementation is unparalleled. Their candid commentary, both emotional and sincere and ferociously cutting, has resonated in a way that’s neither nostalgic or trendy, but timeless. Their press coverage, having ticked all the major music and style titles off within the release of their first single, has seen the buzz ripple out to tabloid newspapers, surely just a taster of the mainstream acceptance soon to follow.

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Source: lastfm


electronic, indie


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