There Is No Teenage Love
Sonic Soundscapes for the Post-Everything Era
‘Band of The Year’ 2012 — Los Angeles, I’m Yours
Los Angeles musicians Erik Tokle and David J Dowling (There is No Teenage Love) create organic compositions through improvisation and live looping, manipulating guitars beyond recognition and dispensing with conventions of structure in favor of a post-modern, abstract and painterly approach to composition.
Formed in 2011, There Is No Teenage Love has recently completed and released their eponymous debut album against extremely unlikely odds of time and geography (more about that later). Members Tokle and Dowling use their guitars to create improvised/instinctual source material for subsequent deconstruction, multi-tracking, and post-processing; manipulating the sound beyond that of typical "guitar music." The band compares their compositional style to that of more visual art-forms (particularly the Abstract Expressionist movement), following the Jasper Johns dictum "Do something, do something to that, and then do something to that." The results can range dramatically: an elegiac tone-poem; a series of elemental figures dissolving together into a liminal state; a scratched-out rhythm contesting with a faded guitar wisp.
Opening track White Flag pays blatant homage to Johns, whose art was a significant influence on both band members' early creative development. Tokle and Dowling met in high school art class during the late 80s in the suburbs south of Boston. Deeply immersed in the city’s skateboard/post-punk/hardcore culture, they soon began playing together in their first (and thankfully short-lived) punk band, trading tapes of Joy Division, The Smiths, Hüsker Dü, Brian Eno, and Talking Heads and skating all available locations. Then they grew up, left home and didn't speak to or see one another again.
…until 22 years later. Thanks to Facebook, the pair reconnected and discovered that both were now living and working in Los Angeles; Dowling as a photographer and Tokle in technology. More importantly, both had continued to play and evolve as musicians, each independently (and coincidentally) developing a complimentary style of guitar featuring live looping, vast amounts of effects processing, and layers of multi-tracked improvisation. Picking up where they left off 22 years prior, the duo rejoined to collaborate in this shared style. The results were instantaneous and undeniable - some of the live tracks recorded during the first few improvisational sessions became the basis for what would ultimately become the debut album.
Self-released in Fall of 2012, There is No Teenage Love has garnered clicks and praise from listeners in numerous countries, transcending nationality with its universality and wordless expression. For 2013, the band is developing video pieces to accompany select tracks from the debut, while returning to the studio to record new material.
Top 10 Albums of 2012 — Chop Shop Records (USA)
‘Band of the Year' - ‘There Is No Teenage Love catch glimpses of what Matthew Cooper’s Eluvium and early Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts era M83 did. This airy, droney, post-rock album is definitely the most unexpected musical item we’ve stumbled upon this year.' — LA I'm Yours (USA)
'Avec ses drones éthérées, sa guitare en apesanteur aux contours nappés de reverb, ses orgues majestueux et ses traînées de synthés sans âge au romantisme diffus (à moins que tout cela ne soit le fruit de manipulations guitaristes dignes de l’élégance light d’un Christopher Willits?), on imagine aisément l’effet que doit procurer l’écoute de There Is No Teenage Love au lever du soleil sur un océan à perte de vue.' — Indie Rock Mag (France)
‘This is music played by human musicians, and although it avoids any obvious discursive, linear tokens of self-expression, it still sounds like the work of human hands and hearts. There is care and effort in every moment, an understanding of physical instrumental resources without which this music could be nothing like as nuanced and precisely judged.’ — Oliver Arditi (UK)
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