Tom Gallo is the host of Look At My Records! on Radio Free Brooklyn
Good Fruit, the fourth full-length from Bushwick based TEEN, arrives at a time of transition and growth for the band. Recently, TEEN scaled back their lineup from a four-piece to a trio comprised solely of the Lieberson sisters. That inexplicable familial chemistry is omnipresent on Good Fruit, as the sisters completely self-produced the album, allowing them to successfully accentuate their vocal strengths, focus their vision, and vary their stylistic inklings from track to track, and quite often, within songs.
The trio’s powerful and seamless vocal harmonies remain front and center on Good Fruit, as their voices continue to permeate through a myriad of spiraling synths, drum machine backbeats, and brass instruments. Their bright harmonies belie what many would assume to be a direct, pop-oriented direction, but even a cursory listen of Good Fruit reveals more sonic layers to sift through.
“Radar” features smooth saxophones complemented by fierce R&B beats that are almost reminiscent of Sade, while “Connection” resonates as an intimate, droning ode to the longing for human attachment. The album also has its share of strong ballads, as the mournful “Only Water” pays loving tribute to the sisters’ late father, while “Pretend” laments the reality of unmet expectations in a romantic relationship.
Good Fruit stands out in the TEEN catalog as their most polished and versatile work to date. The record embodies many things at once: a stunning collection of songs that are equal parts intoxicating electropop, sultry R&B, and ambient, unobtrusive electronica, among many other distinct, and beautiful sonic elements.
We lost an hour to daylight savings time, but that isn’t slowing down the musicians in Bushwick. Here are the best shows to check out this week:
Wednesday, March 13
MikeQ, Jay R Neutron, Greg Lavvin at House of Yes, 10 p.m.
Live music returns to House Of Yes this Wednesday, as house DJs MikeQ and Jay R. Neutron will be joined by MC Greg Lavvin, for a House Of Vogue event. The event starts at 10 p.m., so make sure you’re well rested for a Wednesday night filled with dancing. MikeQ, who is the head of the Qween Beat Collective (one of the organizers of Night of Vogue) and a leading figure in the east coast and vogue ballroom dance scenes, will share DJ duties with Jay R Neutron, a Baltimore-based house DJ.
Thursday, March 14
Sooner, Pale Lights, Joy Cleaner, Absent City at Gold Sounds Bar, 7 p.m.
If you’re not going to see Teenage Fanclub at Music Hall Of Williamsburg on Thursday, you can still get your indie pop fix at Gold Sounds. Local shoegazers Sooner shared their second EP in last December, the spacious and floaty Stranger. This will be your last chance to see jangle pop extraordinaries, Pale Lights, for some time, as they’ll be heading to Europe shortly after this gig for a string of performances in Spain, including a spot at Madrid Popfest. New Jersey’s Joy Cleaner remains an act to keep your eye on when they’re in town, as they may preview some new tracks from their yet to be released follow-up to their infectious 2018 single, “Easter Tuesday.” Opening the show is Absent City, a Brooklyn-based indie pop trio with a soft, lush sound.
Friday, March 15
Language, Glazer, Spowder, Snakeskin at Rubulad, 8:30 p.m.
Brooklyn-based math rock trio and Good Eye Records standouts, Language, top a bill that features three artists from the roster of New Jersey’s State Champion Records. Owned and operated by “King” Mike Abbate of Screaming Females and Tracy Robinson, the young label just released a raucous split single by two of Friday’s performers, Glazer and Spowder. The central New Jersey mainstays each contributed three tracks to the album, including two straight-up rippers, “Ride Sometime” and “Torch.” Don’t be late to the show, or else you’ll miss the captivating Snakeskin, who released her expansive debut album, Hangnail, early last year on State Champion.
Saturday, March 16
Concert For Mark at The Glove, 8 p.m.
Friends and musical peers of the late Mark Fletcher are gathering to celebrate his life on Friday at The Glove. As a highly talented songwriter and musician, Fletcher performed in several beloved groups, including Heeney and Stringer. The concert will feature intimate and collaborative performances from members of those bands, plus Zomber, Bethlehem Steel, Bueno, SHAPES, Titus Andronicus, The So So Glos, and more.
All images courtesy of bands and mentioned venues.
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