Friday, July 7, 2023

Teen Idle - "Birthday Cake"

Photo by Samantha Abdelbarry

I have a bizarre and intense fondness for New Jersey, particularly the Asbury Park area. That is in part due to the amazing music coming out of Asbury Park, and the latest artist we've discovered is Teen Idle. The musical project of multi-instrumentalist Sara Abdelbarry has just released a new single, "Birthday Cake." It's one of those songs that sounds completely unique, even if it's made up of parts you're intimately familiar with. The song has a great 90's slacker and bedroom indie feel mixed with the modern indie rock/folk/alt-pop sound of artists like Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers. Plus, "Birthday Cake" sounds wonderfully DIY the way Colleen Green and Little Hag do. I also have a very personal love of artists with unique and non-traditional voices that are still compelling, like J Mascis and Stephin Merritt, and Abdelbarry has that vocal quality.

Sara Abdelbarry says of her new single:

“‘Birthday Cake’ isn’t specifically about anyone, but rather a caricature of a person. In some ways the song is autobiographical because the character it deals with is a hyperbolic version of people I’ve known. The song reflects on having a friend who is acting in immature ways you’ve outgrown, but knowing they still need your support and friendship. The character in the song is a reckless young adult who makes a series of bad, impulsive decisions and constantly worries all their friends and family. The type of self-destructive person who gets into legal and drug troubles and doesn’t take advice. Someone who has moved thousands of miles away with no clear plan for their life. And once they come back home, this person has burnt basically all their bridges.”

You can listen to "Birthday Cake" below. Nonfiction is due out later this year on H1 Massive. For more on Teen Idle, check out the artist's website.

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