TEEN’s second album, 2014’s The Way and Color, was a stunning creative breakthrough. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Teeny Lieberson’s voice is starkly highlighted, but the whole record is a conversation between her; Katherine Lieberson’s crafty, minimalist drumming; Boshra AlSaadi’s lithe, sinuous bass lines; and Lizzie Lieberson’s irresistible synth hooks. Now the group is back with its strongest release to date: the third full-length of their discography, Love Yes.
Born out of a creative process that included a dismal winter workshopping in Woodstock, a writing renaissance for lead-singer Teeny Lieberson in Kentucky, and a triumphant return to home in Nova Scotia to record, Love Yes is a lush, bold new creation that builds upon the group’s previous efforts and takes off.
On the album cover, the quartet is bejeweled in crystals and bathed in Venusian red. This red is the color of vitality and pulsing life—unmistakable traits of Love Yes. It is the iconic red of Dorothy’s slippers and Eve’s apple—potent with society’s tales and notions of innocence lost. In Love Yes, something else more mysterious and tender is gained.
TEEN was founded in 2010 by lead-singer and multi-instrumentalist Teeny Lieberson (Here We Go Magic). She self-recorded and self-released the beguiling lo-fi Little Doods LP the following year, then formed a band that included sisters Katherine and Lizzie, and signed to Carpark for 2012’s In Limbo. Produced by Sonic Boom (Spectrum, Spacemen 3), In Limbo encompasses everything in between sprawling, ethereal ballads and trancey but kinetic pop. Rolling Stone listed its opening track “Better” as one of the “50 Best Songs of 2012.” The Carolina EP followed in 2013 and was even more varied and accomplished; the band was growing by breathtaking leaps and bounds. TEEN’s second full-length, The Way and Color, mixes the band’s melodic psych with the sound of post-millennial R&B. The LP has its share of darkness—fear, regret, and loss are all in the picture—but it’s always redeemed by the sheer soulfulness and powerful ingenuity of the music. The album is a reflection on the aggressive times we live in, one that often lacks selflessness. TEEN’s response is one that uplifts and brings a sense of happiness and joy. Love Yes continues this communication, this time exploring the disharmony and empowerment that both sexuality and spirituality can create within the modern woman’s psyche. Universal ideas of loyalty, pleasure, purity, power, aging, and love are confronted with a knowable specificity. There is a quality of wholesomeness, but also an edge—a kind of wise anger and electricity.