Available on: 7AM, forthcoming Merok / True Panther LP

Teengirl Fantasy are a band you can get behind. Though undeniably a product of the post-Animal Collective blog-pysche underground, their music has a punchiness and sense of purpose often lacking in their bong-struck peers. Their latest effort, ‘Cheaters’, is unlike anything else I’ve heard in 2010, and it instantly elevates them to a new plane of achievement and importance.

A significant departure from the compressed R&B kosmische of their last single, ‘Portofino’, ‘Cheaters’ is a silken-synthed, lo-fi vocal house track that betrays the duo’s love of classic Chicago jams by Virgo, Marshall Jefferson and the like. 808-style drums beat out a steady 4/4, but they’re choppy, unquantized and feel like they might fall off the grid at any point. Though the production and arrangement are highly impressive, conveying DIY roughness without recourse to the fuzz and formlessness that you might expect, it’s the sampled singing that makes ‘Cheaters’ soar. A galeforce gust of raw, righteous soul (“You never, never win” is the exquisitely self-pitying refrain), it’s taken from Love Committee’s ’77 song ‘Cheaters Never Win’.

But this is no straightforward burglary. Prising it free of its jaunty orchestral setting, pitching it down, and judiciously clipping at it here and there, the young American duo unlock a completely new and disturbing sonority in Greg Thompson’s vocal performance; to their great credit, 2010’s ‘Cheaters’ sounds somehow more authentic, more soulful, than the track that it steals from.

Trilby Foxx



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