TEEN On D’Angelo And Why Mystery Is Sexy

The sisters of TEEN have dominated the New York music scene with their slinky R&B infused indie rock. Their latest album The Way and Color – equipped with off-kilter rhythms, smokey harmonies and a flare of funk- offered a totally unique album we didn’t know we needed. Lead singer Teeny Lieberson gushed about her undying love for D’Angelo, what she finds sexy and getting back to writing more music.

by: Shannon Kurlander

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Getting your gear stolen must have been a terrible experience but congrats on reaching your pledge goal! Tell me a little about your experience.
It was pretty shocking. You sort of prepare yourself for that at any point when you’re a touring musician but then when it actually happens you can’t believe that it actually happened. It was just really stressful luckily we were touring with Sondre Lerche at the time, he and his bandmates were incredibly generous about using their instruments and pedals, so that made it much easier. If we hadn’t been on tour with a band like Sondre we would have been totally screwed…then to do a pledge where everyone came forward it to help us get our money back was really overwhelming how wonderful all our friends and our family have been with their generosity. Despite the unlucky circumstances, we have been lucky.

Well once you get all your gear back do you plan on working on new music? Perhaps a new album?
We’re going to start workshopping and I’m writing constantly. The idea is to have a ton of songs to choose from so that we can have a really solid record. At this point there is no solid plans just ready to start working.

Now when you’re writing, is there a special bond in working with your sisters or does sibling bickering get the best of you?
The thing that is incredible about working with siblings is that there’s no a lot of obstruction as far as taste. Often we like each others ideas, mainly just from growing up in the same household and having the same influences naturally, despite the fact that we’re very different people. Of course there’s fighting, like there is with any band, but the positive is that we’re sisters and we get over it because we’re sisters. You get mad at each other and walk away for a second then fine, it’s over.

I love the R&B elements in The Way and Color. So…how do you feel about the new D’Angelo?
It’s my life right now. I can’t even express. He’s probably my personal #1 idol…I think I connected to Brown Sugar as a kid. I remember him playing keys in that video and thinking he was really cute and then I was like wait, this music is amazing. Then I was obsessed completely and fully, for the last 14 years, with Voodoo. I have been following him desperately hoping for a new record and to be honest, it’s everything I hoped for.

There’s also a certain sex appeal to your music. What’s sexy to you?
No one’s ever asked me that before. What is sexy to me? Mystery. I don’t like it when it’s all out there. I find brooding sexy also, unfortunately. Intelligence is sexy too, when someone doesn’t have to prove themselves all of the time. Mysteriousness is something that is the most captivating to me,

Now you guys have played a lot of shows around New York. How do you feel about the changing Brooklyn music landscape with all the great DIY venues shutting down?
To be honest it’s pretty sad…Once Zebulon shut down I was like, it just going to keep happening. But it’s not surprising, New York is rich.

Going into the New Year a lot of people make resolutions to kick bad habits. What’s one guilty pleasure you’re keeping?
I never do the resolution thing because I never keep it. Honestly the first thing that comes to my mind is that I like to drink…but I don’t really feel guilty about anything…is that awful?


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