At last year’s Rolling Stone Australia Awards, King Stingray were crowned Best New Artist. It was a more than fair win – the band’s self-titled debut album has rightly earned acclaim at every awards show since its release – but a competitor in that category last year, Teenage Dads, also had a very strong claim to the award.
The Mornington Peninsula upstarts have been releasing bubbly indie rock songs for several years, which is why it’s pleasing to see the four-piece continue that early promise on their new EP, Midnight Driving, just released today.
With driving guitar lines, maturing lyrics, and infectious hooks made for summer cruises, the five-track collection should cement Teenage Dads’ growing popularity in Australia.
The EP contains fan favourites like the raucous “Teddy”, which reached number 63 on triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown and has an almost Jamie T-esque energy to it, and the title track, which is accompanied by an eerie Halloween-themed music video (watch below).
“The EP is about perspective,” the band says about Midnight Driving. “How things look from one point of view, and how they can change over time from another outlook. The songs feel like diary entries, documented internally, like conversations you have with yourself when you go Midnight Driving. A constant, internal form of therapy almost.”
Teenage Dads are about to begin a tour of Australia and New Zealand, taking in 10 stops at their biggest crowds and venues to date. Before that, though, Rolling Stone AU/NZ got them to break down each track on Midnight Driving in more detail, which you can read below.
Teenage Dads’ Midnight Driving EP is out now via Chugg Music.
Teenage Dads’ Midnight Driving EP Track by Track:
A relationship from start to finish. The fun at the start, troubles you run into along the way, and the bitter end. When you look back on it with time and a new perspective, you have that realisation that maybe it wasn’t meant to be and it’s better now that it’s over.
Escaping your responsibilities and facing the consequences of your actions. Told from the perspective of someone evading the police, “Teddy” highlights how running away might feel better in the short run, but eventually time will collapse around you, and you need to decide if you should keep running or turn yourself in.
“Goodbye, Goodbye Again”
While this was written at the point of a breakup I had been through, it seems the song also takes on the general idea of how difficult it is to say goodbye, whether that’s to a friend, family, a lover, or even an aspect of your life that you are leaving behind: moving away, starting a new job, retiring. Saying goodbye isn’t always easy, and “Goodbye, Goodbye Again” dives into the desolation you meet at the end. It might not be over forever, but for now it is.
Inspired by the childrens show Go, Diego, Go!, “Diego” is the friend that everyone needs as a reminder that it is okay to be weird, to be different, to do things your own way. Diego is almost mythical in this song, saving us from a boring world with rules and norms and bringing us back to reality where it’s ok to be HUMAN.
Coming to an understanding that a relationship is on its way out. Maybe you don’t want it to end, maybe you do. Depends on which seat you’re in. Are you in the passenger seat begging to go for another drive? Or are you the driver ready to speed off into the night?
A personal one, it’s something I wrote for someone special and how they make me feel. It’s that warm feeling you get when they enter a room, where nothing else matters, and how it all drives you crazy (in the best way). The energy compels you to keep chasing that feeling.