The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: TEEN – ‘Good Fruit’ (Carpark Records)


In a sentence:

TEEN’s fourth album ‘Good Fruit’ once again demonstrates the Lieberson sisters’ unique ability to examine the ups and downs of human relationships.

Throughout their near decade-long career, TEEN (comprised of sisters Teeny, Lizzie and Katherine Lieberson) have explored the inner workings of relationships through the medium of quirky pop and dazzling vocal harmonies. They have certainly never been a band to confine themselves musically, though. The psychedelic tendencies that defined their first album In Limbo have gradually been blended with urgent synth-pop and R&B, and their fourth effort Good Fruit encapsulates their sound at its finest.

The musical palette the Liebersons wield on Good Fruit is enormously impressive, from the ravey euphoria of opener ‘Popular Taste’ with its grinding electro synth, to the lusciously languid R&B stylings of ‘Radar’ which concludes with a hazy sax solo. Their vocal prowess is as sharp as ever too; the way they intertwine with each other is still one of the most engaging facets of their music, but their voices are just as smooth individually. Teeny remains a commanding presence, particularly on the glitchy ‘Ripe’, while Lizzie’s buttery-smooth performances add extra ounces of heartbreak to the album’s more deliberate songs.

Music video for ‘Only Water’

However, Good Fruit’s greatest strength is the way TEEN juxtapose the playfulness of the music with the heftiness of the lyrical matter. On ‘Only Water’, Teeny explores how the sisters overcame their grief after their father passed away, before contemplating their spiritual bond (“If we’re only water / aren’t we one in time?”) as the pulsing synths whirr and buzz around her, and the defiant ‘Runner’ revolves around breaking free from a controlling partner (“Watch me take off fast / while you try to make it last”). They perfect this contrast on ‘Connection’, a seven-minute-long slow jam which celebrates the idea of companionship while also questioning the meaning of it all, as Teeny ponders “Is this the life you want to live?”.

Music video for ‘Runner’

Romance, loss and heartbreak are vital parts of the fabric that makes pop music so enduring. There aren’t too many bands that reflect on such issues as profoundly as TEEN though, and Good Fruit is another magnificent testament to the ups and downs of human relationships. (8/10) (Matty Watkin)

Listen to Good Fruit by TEEN here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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