Today sees the release of 7AM, the debut album by Teengirl Fantasy.
It’s a record that has melted even the stoniest hearts in the FACT office: a dazzling, technicolour explosion of cosmic R&B, retro-futuristic house and, in the band’s own matter-of-fact formulation, “glowy electronic shoegaze with deep bass thumps and vocoders put through delay pedals.” This week on FACT you can stream the album in full, courtesy of Merok / True Panther.
FACT first talked to Teengirl – the duo of Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss – back in January 2009. They told us then of their love of Chicago house cats Chez Damier and Mr Fingers (Larry Heard), and that love finds full expression on 7AM, particularly the track ‘Cheaters’, a starlit box jam which samples the yearning vocal from The Love Committee’s 70s soul cut ‘Cheaters Never Win’, and is virtually a shoo-in for the mantle of track of the year. It’s typical of Teengirl Fantasy in that it sounds narratively taut but also raw, intuitive; according to the band, that characteristic rawness arose out of their energetic, near-shamanistic live performances.
“Our first show was a disaster,” Nick told us. “We tried using a laptop but it died on us. But we worked it out and improvised until the crowd was dancing too hard to realise that we were just playing the same couple of songs over and over. After that, we decided to never use laptops again.”
Of course, it’s not about what equipment you use, but how you use it, and to what end. If you really want to know the kind of emotion that Teengirl Fantasy are capable of inspiring, you should visit teengirlfantasy.angelfire.com, a lurid fan site supposedly produced by an HTML-savvy, er, teen girl, which features such memorably titled sections as ‘BiOzZz ov da Boyz’ and, best of all, ‘My drEEM!’, from which the following extract is taken:
“Last night i had a dream and in it teengirl fantasy was playing a special song, just 4 me, and it was like mAgic, and it sounded like rainbow ice cream with cherries on it and mint chocolate chip, and it looked like baby animals and cute boys with nice cars and dreamy eYesz, and it tasted like skittles, but better, like a REAL rainbow, and it felt like angels were singing to me, and it was like my parents didn’t set a limit on the amount of time i could go online and go on facebok and send text mesages, and it smelled like fancy perfume that alice has but mom won’t let me buy and fresh baked cookies, so good, chocolate chocolate chip, like laundry and freshly mowed grass and it tasted like icing on a birthday cake with those little silver balls in it that dad says are bad for me but i don’t care, i don’t care anymore because teengirl fantasy was singing TO ME, and it sounded like unicorns plus magic stuff like a good hair day every day, and free make up that mom lets me wear, to the date she lets me go on, with teengirllll~~ *sigh*”
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.