Teenage Joans usher in a punchy new era with ‘Terrible’, Domestic La La signing

The punk-pop duo have a litany of live shows – and potentially a new record – on the horizon

Teenage Joans have returned with their first release for the year, a belting new single titled ‘Terrible’.

Landing this week as the first song to follow the Adelaide duo’s debut EP, ‘Taste Of Me’, the track builds on that record’s jaunty punk-pop flair and self-deprecative themes, with more bite in the guitars and a slightly more optimistic spin put on the narrative. In a bridge that starts off gently and builds into a flurry of screams and distorted riffing, the duo chant: “It’s terrible, but it’ll do / I’m terrible but I’m not you.”

‘Terrible’ comes alongside an eye-catching video by Lemonade City, with direction via Tom Parolin and Kamryn Henschke. It starts with Teenage Joans being drawn to a VHS copy of an old horror film, A Terrible Tragedy, which the band themselves appear to star in. They soon find that the tape is cursed, and are chased down their street by a horde of possessed townsfolk.

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After finding refuge in a house, they’re compelled to venture down into its basement, where satanic clones of singer/guitarist Cahli Blakers and drummer Tahlia Borg use their instruments to brutally murder their innocent counterparts.

Check out the video for ‘Terrible’ below:

‘Terrible’ – which has been a staple of Teenage Joans’ live set for over a year – marks the duo’s first release on Domestic La La Records. Though it hasn’t yet been said if the track will appear on a follow-up to ‘Taste Of Me’, the band have teased during shows that a new longform record is indeed in the pipeline.

In a press release, the band said: “We wanted to show the world a different side to Teenage Joans. We’re both influenced by a range of music, including punk/hardcore, so we really wanted to write a song with a heavier touch. The song is about being led on by someone who ‘holds you like they’re gonna drop you’ – aka sticks around when it’s easy and leaves as they please.

“We actually wrote the original version of ‘Terrible’ before we wrote most of ‘Taste Of Me’, but we didn’t feel like it was good enough to release at that time. We rewrote it a second time at a band practice in April 2021, and then a third time when we went into the studio in September 2021. The song is almost entirely different now, apart from the ending which has stayed the same since we first wrote it!”

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On their signing to Domestic La La, label head (and Violent Soho guitarist) James Tidswell said: “I loved Teenage Joans from the moment I heard them and then seeing them live absolutely blew me away. It is an honour to have them as part of the Domestic La La family and I cannot wait for everyone to hear their brand new song ‘Terrible’, the scream at the end is the BEST!!!!”

‘Taste Of Me’ was released independently last May, with singles including ‘Something About Being Sixteen’, ‘Ice Cream’ and ‘Wine’ (the lattermost of which came in at Number 84 on triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2021). Since it came out, Blakers has released the solo track ‘999 555’, and featured on songs by Copious Dribble and The Hard Aches.

NME labelled ‘Taste Of Me’ one of its top picks for the month of the EP’s release, with writer Alex Gallagher describing it as “a thrilling formal introduction to their cathartic, bittersweet pop-punk” that “deals in big shout-along choruses, unapologetically raw songwriting and the rock-solid chemistry between Cahli Blakers and Tahlia Borg”.

Teenage Joans have a litany of live shows on the horizon – they’ll support Ball Park Music on five dates of their ‘Weirder & Weirder’ tour, and appear at festivals like Full Tilt in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and Sidefest in Perth.

Meanwhile, the band scored a record-breaking seven wins at last year’s South Australian Music Awards, taking home the titles for Best New Artist, Best Group, Punk, Best Song, Best Release and the City Of Adelaide Exceptional Live Performance Award. Samual Graves and Eve Burner also nabbed the Best Cover Art award for their work on ‘Taste Of Me’, while the duo’s manager, Rachie Whitford, was bestowed the title of Best Manager.

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