Stand by your friends that are hurting.
That’s what New Jersey power punks Teenage Halloween do through soaring arrangements of melodic angst, wracked vocals that insist “I love you so much I would die for you”, and passion-packed two-minute dispatches tackling topics from gender euphoria, to state abuses, and an eternal quest for mental wellbeing. The results are potent punk vistas that document young queer life at the edge of America.
At the heart of vocalist and guitarist Luk Henderiks’ lyrics is an urgent longing for community. Despite their often strikingly personal vulnerability, these songs reach out to the wider world, striving to hold themselves and those around them accountable for their actions and to make space for those that need to be heard.
In 2020, the band released their self-titled debut album via storied Garden State label Don Giovanni and swiftly won over a host of tastemakers. BrooklynVegan placed it at #10 on their Best New Punk Albums Of 2020, while Sterogum hailed them on their 40 Best New Bands Of 2020. American Songwriter, Paste, and KEXP brought further kind words to the table.
Having been unable to tour the album on its release in pre-vaccine times, the band hit the road with abandon in late 2021 and beyond, notching over 140 shows on their belts; including their first national US tour, an invitation to showcase at SXSW, and dates with Algernon Cadwallader, Chris Farren, Good Riddance, Say Anything and many more. These shows invariably deliver a calling card of unrelenting energy, wry wit, and warmth.
In February 2023, the group headed into Headroom Studios in Philadelphia, PA, under the guiding hand of producer Joe Reinhart (Hop Along, Beach Bunny, Joyce Manor), and tracked the 13 dispatches on isolation, uncertainty, and hope for better days, that make up Till You Return. This second full-length outing (due for Oct 20th release via Don Giovanni) finds the band, which operated as a ‘rotating cast’ in it’s early years, now firmly entrenched as an essential four-piece comprised of Henderiks alongside Eli Frank (guitar, vocals), Tricia Marshall (bass, vocals) and Peter Gargano (drums). The quartet maintains the vital energy of their previous incarnations but brings an even more focused punch to the arrangements that leaves greater room for Henderiks’ lyrics. Fans of the band will also have noticed the creative assent of Marshall who takes the vocal lead on multiple songs that have become defining features of the band’s recent live shows and which bring a fresh new viewpoint to the band’s ongoing sonic mission for a more equal and just world.Tracklist: