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TEEN’s new album, Love Yes, explores 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.
After extensive touring following their breakthrough release The Way and Color (2014), the band had to keep traveling to find Love Yes. The group first went to Woodstock in the dead of winter to write new material. Here, keyboardist and singer Lizzie Lieberson created the stunning, autobiographical “Please.” But the band, and especially lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Teeny Lieberson, felt a crushing lack of creative energy. Recognizing the need to recharge, they took some time off. Teeny moved to a small lakeside cabin in Morehead, Kentucky. Surrounded by rolling hills, sparked with sudden thunderstorms, and inspired by the musical joy of uninhibited late-night bluegrass jams and barn parties, Teeny immediately began writing again. Here she felt a new freedom in her songwriting; drawing on themes important to her identity as a woman, and exploring love, sexuality, and the tension between desire and the construct of desire that can exist within oneself, in relationship, and within society.
After three weeks in Morehead, Teeny returned to New York to workshop with rest of the band, including drummer Katherine Lieberson and bassist Boshra Al-Saadi. Acknowledging the benefits of being creative in a cocoon like the lakeside Kentucky country, the band decided to record at the Old Confidence Lodge, in secluded Riverport, Nova Scotia. Leaving the noise and relentless energy of the city behind, TEEN retreated into the nurturing stillness of Nova Scotia, the Lieberson sisters’ childhood home. Situated on the La Have River, the studio was hidden in a perpetual mist while the band recorded day and night. Fueled by new material, a change of place, and creative collaboration, the lull of the winter lifted and the band came together in a new way. Teaming up once again with producer Daniel Schlett, TEEN wanted to capture the energy of full band recording. Rather than multi-tracking, Schlett worked with the band as they played the songs relentlessly, waiting to achieve the right energy and take as a group.
The result is a beautiful, detailed album about womanhood and the embodiment of the sensual, played by a group fully in step with one another. Love Yes bursts into the static air with a vibrancy recognized by its confidence and power.
On the album cover, the quartet is bejeweled in crystals and bathed in Venusian red. This red is the colour 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.
2. All About Us
3. Gone For Good
4. Another Man's Woman
7. Free Time
10. Noise Shift
11. Love Yes