We might have lived through the world’s longest lockdown this year, but life hasn’t stood still for everyone. For Mount Eliza indie-pop band Teenage Dads, 2021 will go down as a memorable year for some mighty fine reasons. In April, Teenage Dads – Jordan Finlay, Connor McLaughlin, Angus Christie and Vincent Kenna – signed with Chugg Music for management representation and to the Chugg Music record label. It was Chugg’s first new signing in two years.
For a group of high school mates who started out jamming in the school music room and playing at friends’ parties, surely this is the stuff music dreams are made of. “I don’t think we necessarily dreamed of getting signed; we didn’t really know what that would mean,” says Angus. “We want to build our audience and grow our live shows as a primary motivator and keep making music that we’re happy with and that people like. That’s always been our primary focus.” They all agree being signed makes their band feel more “official” and that they’re really motivated to bring out more music than they’ve been able to previously.
The road to Teenage Dads’ management deal began with a social media message to the band Lime Cordiale, also represented by Chugg. Vincent explains: “In 2019 we befriended Lime Cordiale. We got to tour with them and through that time I was asking questions and Oli the singer said, ‘Just chat to our manager, Andrew. I’ll give you his number’ and it snowballed from there.”
The other highlight of 2021 so far is the release of their single Cheerleader. It’s the sort of song that will have you caught up in the band’s high energy and quirkiness. Before you can think about it you’ll be bopping along. Jordan says: “I wrote Cheerleader five years ago; I’d only written one part. In the midst of lockdown I was feeling a bit strapped for songwriting ideas so I looked through my old hard drives to see if there was anything good there. It was the first couple of lines in the chorus and the chord progression. I reworked it and sent the demo to the guys and everyone sounded like they were liking it. Cheerleader and a couple of other songs that we worked on for this upcoming EP is what helped convince Chugg to sign us, which is cool.”
The Cheerleader video clip was made creatively during lockdown; each band member filmed their part in their home with the recording gear being Ubered between houses and then to their director Gabe Hanvey in Melbourne. “It was weird having Gabe direct us over Facetime,” says Jordan. “He definitely pulled it off.”
Their other cool news is that their eight-track EP Club Echo comes out this month and will be released on vinyl. Connor says: “Our label wanted a physical copy of our EP. We thought it would be cooler to have it on vinyl because people don’t really buy CDs anymore.”
Club Echo is out on November 5. For tour dates, go to the website below.