New For 2021
We're shining a spotlight on the best new Australian artists set to dominate 2021. Welcome Adelaide indie-punk duo Teenage Joans.
With their soaring hooks, infectious melodies, undeniable friendship, and unapologetic energy, Adelaide duo Teenage Joans continue to prove time and time again why they are a band you need to have on your radar.
Describing their sound as “juice-box punk-pop”, their music is as much for shaping a new generation of pop-punk fans, as it is for those of us who grew up listening to Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, and Get Up Kids.
Packed with huge, catchy riffs, guitars crafted as a siren song for the mosh pit, and storytelling that is sharp, honest, and worthy of top-of-your-lungs singing, Teenage Joans’ tunes are as emotionally cathartic as they are an absolute joy to listen to.
Last September, the teenage duo – made up of Tahlia Borg and Cahli Blakers – won the triple j Unearthed High competition thanks to their incredibly catchy anthem ‘Three Leaf Clover’. That same single also landed at #87 on this year’s triple j Hottest 100, kicking off 2021 in absolute form.
They continued full steam ahead, dropping only their third single ‘Something About Being Sixteen’ in January – and if they are already having this kind of an impact after just three tracks, you better be paying attention.
On the live stage is where Teenage Joans truly shine. Racking up quite the tour log, they’re edging closer to a century by the day – sharing stages with the likes of Ruby Fields, Jess Day, Towns, Clowns, and The Hard Aches. Their hard work scoring the pair the award for Best Live Act in SA at 2019’s National Live Music Awards.
Kicking things up a notch with every single, there’s no way 2021 wasn’t made for Teenage Joans.
The Teenage Joans Story
From the beginning
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “I think I was 7, I used to go to my cousins gigs all the time ‘cause he played drums, so I wanted to play drums because I thought it was really cool. I started playing piano when I was 13 because I didn’t wanna sing to backing tracks all the time, so I taught myself. That’s when I started writing music too. My first song was so bad, I can’t even remember what it was called.”
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “I actually started my music journey by picking up violin when I was 5. Apparently I saw my favourite childhood character Elmo in an episode of Sesame Street playing violin and I wanted to be like him. I quit when I was 10 because I wanted to play rock music, so I picked up guitar instead.”
What you’ll hear
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “I think for us we’re just trying to fill a space that hasn’t been filled yet by making music that we would want to listen to! We’d much rather be nobodies making music that we are proud of, than somebodies following the same old structure.”
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “It’s hard to put our sound into one thing. We’re inspired by a lot of indie pop-punk. We like to describe our sound as juice-box punk-pop, because it’s more punk than pop, with a “juice-box” type nostalgia to it.”
Influences & inspiration
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “I’m really inspired by the Riot grrrl movement, especially Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill because she’s a bad b*tch. And Beabadoobee, obviously! Her songwriting is amazing and her aesthetic is amazing. Also Pheobe Bridgers because she tells such powerful stories and her songs are so sonically interesting.”
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “I’m super inspired both musically and stylistically by Yungblud. I really love what he stands for and his sick individuality. I’m also heavily inspired by Camp Cope, and in particular their singer/guitarist Gmaq. They have been a huge influence in both my music journey and just my general personal growth journey.”
For the love of music
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “One of my favourite things about making music is being able to put emotions that sometimes feel hard to explain into words, for both myself and other people. Human brains and hearts are so complex, so being able to hear emotions simplified into a song is one of the most beautiful and raw feelings I think anyone can feel.”
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “I love music because it gives everyone such an emotional and creative outlet. When we’re playing live, it’s really wholesome to see everyone singing the lyrics back to us and living in their own moment to our songs.”
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “Hmm I wonder…winning Unearthed High for sure!”
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “Selling out our first ever headline show before we had even released a song was a sick moment for us. Everyone screamed all the lyrics to so many unreleased songs. And I’d also argue that UE High 2018 was even bigger for us than UE high 2020, purely because thats the whole reason we met!”
2020 taught us
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “2020 showed me that there’s nothing wrong with loving the people around you with your heart on the outside of your chest. I think we all really needed to rely on each other during the tough times so being unafraid to love is super important.”
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “I think COVID showed us that giving yourself time to stop and take care of yourself is super important.”
The year ahead
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “We’re super keen to play Summer Sounds Festival at the end of Jan – Adelaide’s completely COVID safe festival, and then we’re heading to Brisbane for Mountain Goat Valley Crawl in Feb. Oh and hopefully new music…”
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “We were so stoked to start the year off by releasing our favourite song ‘Something About Being Sixteen’, and then going on a coheadline tour with our best friends TOWNS.”
When we chat in 12 months…
Tahlia Borg / Teenage Joans: “Hopefully we’ve ticked off playing a few festivals and shows around Australia. And we’d love to be working on some more new music by then!”
Cahli Blakers / Teenage Joans: “I’d love to have ticked off a first headline tour I reckon. Would I be pushing it if I say I hope it sells out?! That would be AMAZING! “
Teenage Joans – Something About Being Sixteen
“The little recording at the start is actually from the day we wrote ‘SABS’, and is literally THE moment we thought of the name!”
Teenage Joans – Three Leaf Clover
“We all know what this song has done, but quite possibly the craziest thing about this song is that it was never actually supposed to be released at the time that it was. The only reason we ended up putting it out was because we weren’t 100% happy with another song we’d recorded. We really thought that ‘TLC’ wouldn’t be the crowd favourite!”
Teenage Joans – By The Way
“Our first song to ever come out, and the first song we ever wrote together too. The lyric ‘Seems like riding bikes is the way to go and the way to be/But I drive ‘cause I’m lazy’ is actually a reference to Camp Cope’s ‘The Omen’.”
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