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Track By Track: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers on their Debut LP ‘I Love You’


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Teen Jesus and the Jean TeasersTeen Jesus and the Jean Teasers | Credit: @sheisaphrodite

Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers formed in Canberra midway through the 2010s. The band members were still in high school at the time, and some of them had been friends since kindergarten. This deep connection and well of shared experience motors the band’s debut album, I Love You, out now via Domestic La La.

I Love You teems with punk rock angst and power pop efficiency, illustrating the songwriting smarts that have seen Teen Jesus build a significant local and international following over the last handful of years.

Band members Scarlett McKahey, Anna Ryan, Neve van Boxsel and Jaida Stephenson will take I Love You on the road later this month – find all the dates below. To coincide with the album’s release, Scarlett, Anna and Neve give us the low-down on its creation.

Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers: I Love You

1. I Used to Be Fun

Scarlett: ‘I Used To Be Fun’ is about getting older and redefining the way you have fun. We have all noticed in the past year of so, going from 22 to 23, that fun looks really different sometimes when you start to get older. It’s about missing your past self who would go out every night and have a fully charged social battery, rather than seeing the fun in staying home alone.

2. Treat Me Better

Scarlett: ‘Treat Me Better’ is a frustrated, bubbling cauldron of a song about untidy housemates and inconsiderate friends. It’s about when people piss you off so much at home that you no longer want to see them outside of home. Housemates are a very unique relationship and when it’s bad, we see red.

3. Backseat Driver

Scarlett: ‘Backseat Driver’ was my year 12 music assignment, submitted at Canberra College in 2018. It was written during the whirlwind of a first and not very good relationship, and somehow remains part of our repertoire all these years later. It’s about being caught up in the excitement, mystery, sadness and angst of having your first ever relationship while you’re still a total mystery to yourself.

4. I Love You

Scarlett: ‘I Love You’ is an ironic title for this song as all the other lyrics imply very differently. The repeated “I love you” throughout the song is representative of trying to convince yourself you love somebody when really you might not. The chorus lyrics – “But do you mind if I ruin it?” – are reminiscent of that too. It’s about knowing you’re going to leave a relationship even though you don’t want to admit it to yourself. The “I love yous” will drown out all the problems you have with each other.

5. Your House My House

Scarlett: ‘Your House My House’ is the first song we wrote on our first writing trip for the album. We all sat around a fire with one guitar and wrote this song, expanding on a verse that Anna had already written. It only made sense to have all four of us singing it, just the way we wrote it. It’s a very special song to us and always makes us weep.

6. Salt (feat. The Grogans)

Anna: ‘Salt’ is loosely about the feeling you get when you start to see someone new and how you refuse to see everything that could go wrong because you are so blinded by your own feelings. But as time goes on, things become more clear. The lyric, “Tell me something good,” is in reference to the last couple of years and the exhaustion of being disappointed.

It’s a classic heartbreak song and was written over a span of three years. During that time, the lyrics changed so much, but I think what really pulled it all together was when we decided to have The Grogans join us on the track. It definitely shifted the energy from something so sad to something so beautiful and special.

7. I Don’t Want It

Scarlett: ‘I Don’t Want It’ was written while crushing on a famous musician and thinking you will never be able to like anybody who isn’t famous because the bar is so high. It’s about chasing what you can’t have, and not wanting it once you get it.

We all want attention from people we put on pedestals, but once we receive it, it’s not exciting or fun anymore. It was written during a very superficial era and I think it’s really funny to look back on what my priorities were back then.

8. Cayenne Pepper

Scarlett: ‘Cayenne Pepper’ needs no explanation. We left it all out on the table.


Anna: ‘AHHHH!’ is loosely about navigating a relationship with someone you have known for a long time but their character changes. You find yourself making excuses for them and forgiving them when it’s clear you just need to ditch them and move the heck on.

10. Lights Out

Scarlett: ‘Lights Out’ is a celebration of realising you’re hot and can empower yourself. The years between the ages of 18 and 22 are some of the most developmental years of a person’s life, and ‘Lights Out’ describes these years. It’s all about claiming your sexuality, confidence and not caring about what the drunk strangers in a Canberra nightclub will think of you.

11. Toe Bone

Scarlett: ‘Toe Bone’ is a collaboration with the one and only Adam Newling, written over many beers on a balcony in Brisbane. When we were recording the album, we played a game called “I would love…” and it went on for hours. It could be anything – I would love a jetpack; I would love a big bowl of sliced apple; I would love this god damn album to be finished, etc.

When we were writing this song, I thought about how sweet the game was and how much love we all have for each other. So, thus, the most wholesome song on the album was born. The title ‘Toe Bone’ is a reference to Jaida saying, “I would love an extra toe on each foot but really they’re opposable thumbs.”

12. Never Saw It Coming

Neve: ‘Never Saw It Coming’ took me over a year to finish writing. It’s about a very difficult topic that unfortunately is not just my story but many others’. It’s one of the first songs I brought to the band and the first song I’ve ever sung lead on, so having Anna, Jaida and Scarlett support me so much with such a personal song made something that was really difficult a lot easier.

I hope this song helps anyone feel less alone in what they’re going through, because having this support from my three best friends helped me endlessly.

13. Kissy Kissy

Anna: ‘Kissy Kissy’ is about the certain charm of meeting a new person and thinking they are so cool, but then realising you have met this type of person a thousand times before. It talks about the condescending tone that has been used towards our music. This song was specifically fuelled by someone telling me that they just don’t think women can do punk music. The words pretty clearly express this emotion and it’s sort of a classic call-out track.

Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers I Love You Tour

w/ Logan, The Empty Threats (excl. WA)

  • Friday, 27th October – The Triffid, Meanjin/Brisbane QLD (Lic/AA)
  • Thursday, 2nd November – UniBar, Tarndanya/Adelaide SA (Lic/AA)
  • Friday, 3rd November – 170 Russell, Naarm/Melbourne VIC (18+)
  • Friday, 10th November – The River, Wadandi Boodja/Margaret River WA (18+)
  • Saturday, 11th November – Port Beach Brewery, Walyalup/Fremantle WA (18+)
  • Friday, 17th November – Metro Theatre, Eora/Sydney NSW (Lic/AA)

Tickets on sale now. I Love You is out now via Domestic La La – stream and purchase here. Also touring with DMA’S in October and supporting Foo Fighters in December

Further Reading

Wanderer 2023 Gallery: Punters of All Ages Enjoy the Sun at Pambula Beach Music Festival

Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers Team Up with The Grogans on New Single ‘Salt’

King Stingray and Genesis Owusu Win Big at 2023 AIR Awards

The post Track By Track: Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers on their Debut LP ‘I Love You’ appeared first on Music Feeds.

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