New project Teen Men aren’t your run-of-the-mill indie outfit. Comprised of two musicians (Nick Krill, Joe Hobson) and two visual artists (Albert Birney, Catharine Maloney), Teen Men started as a one-off collaboration between The Spinto Band members Krill and Hobson and childhood pal Birney. As the project gained steam, Maloney joined the fray and Teen Men were born.
Their self-titled debut album is a sunny gathering of experimental indie pop delivered via guitars, synthesizers, vocals, sampling and ambient electronics. All the elements come together to create a cohesive and consistently enjoyable record that reminds me of something Cloud Cult might do. Krill said working with non-musicians gave he and Hobson a different perspective.
“When the visual artists would comment on the work, they’d do it with visual vocabulary,” Krill notes. “When we’d translated that to music, there wound up being distortions of the original thought. We’d find common ground but the musicians had to work in ways we might not have if communicating only with other musicians.”
The 10-track, 30-minute set gets off to a strong start with “Hiding Records (So Dangerous)” and “Adventure Kids,” and Teen Man also soar on “It’s All Rushing Back,” “Township (Not Sure),” “Fall Out of a Tree” and closer “Kids Being Kids.” I’m curious to hear more. (Jeffrey Sisk)