September 8, 2016

EP: Teen Angst - Anhedonia

Teen Angst’s unique take on surf pop throws you into teenhood’s deep end.

In high school, all I listened to was surf music. My best friend and I would buy XXXL Hawaiian shirts and button them over the both of us, back to back, pulling our heads through the top and parading around like beach-y conjoined twins. He bleached his hair ‘til it went a toxic yellow, and I had a blog dedicated to Nathan Williams and Bethany Cosentino. We endlessly crushed on boys from afar. These boys were always, without fail, skaters (much better than we were) and drowned by long, unbrushed hair. We basically spent all our time trying to be as “surf punk” as possible, which we weren’t particularly good at – we lived a two hour drive away from any salt water. Back then, I was in between sixteen and seventeen. Now, I’m in between twenty and twenty-one, but you may as well toss me into the depths of my teenhood again, because I’m listening to Teen Angst’s Anhedonia, and I’m feeling transported.

Teen Angst is a girl named Michelle, based in Perth, Australia. Her latest EP, Anhedonia, blends my new love of sad girl lo-fi with my old soft spot for surf pop, faultlessly. This EP is full of daydreams and dazing; shyness and unrequited love. It feels like being seventeen, stuck in a shy state of mind: you’re swooning over the boy across the shelves at the bookshop, but too nervy to speak up. So you write a song about it instead: “Bookshop boy, bookshop boy, bookshop boy / Will you hang with me?” Lo-fi and fuzzy, Michelle draws out her sound – both vocally and musically – making each of these songs sound distant. It makes Anhedonia sound exactly what my youth felt like; I’d watch my crush from afar, but struggle to step over the sidelines when it came to speaking up. So I stayed holed up in my bedroom, listening to surf pop, and swooning up at my ceiling instead. It’s been a long time since I’ve been completely consumed by a crush. But Teen Angst has reminded me of what this feels like – to be totally wrapped up in feelings, so the rest of the world sounds faraway and hazy. So if you’ve wanted to be transported back to high school, in need of a wavy daydream, or just feel like having good old moody swoon, press play on Anhedonia. Never forget: bedroom surf pop is forever, regardless of whether there’s any salty sea nearby or not. Teen Angst has proven it to me, even years later.


Listen to Teen Angst on bandcamp.

Madalyn Trewin, a scrawny Australian with way too much time on her hands, endlessly staring up at the sky. She likes to pull words out of the air and put them back together as well as she can. So, most of the time, she’s pretending she’s a poet all over her blog.