Teenage Sweater

Tapping into the zeitgeists of today and 2010, Santa Rosa’s gloomy, shoegazing chillwave duo, Teenage Sweater, open their first EP, Kewl, with “Coconut Water” — a song described in the band’s press release as a “waves-crashing-on-the-beach-while-you-snuggle-your-prom-date” tune. They left out the “in-an-ethereal-opium-haze-wearing-thick-eyeliner-and-crying-at-how-fucking-beautiful-everything-is” from that description. But, hey, that’s cool.

Teenage Sweater sound like a blurrier, more downtrodden Small Black — or perhaps Neon Indian, minus the neon. The group leans on distinctly slower beats and moodier synth tones than the aforementioned. You get the sense that frontman and ringleader Mario Ruiz spins a lot of New Order records when he isn’t playing keys, percussion, singing or sequencing tracks for Teenage Sweater.

And not the radio-friendly New Order cuts either. On “SWEAT,” Teenage Sweater show they know how to build a slow-burning new-wave dirge, grooving on the same riff for a good two minutes, dwelling on it, building on it and then ending the song without crooning a single note. The track’s 2:14 run time is almost exactly as long as it takes the “Blue Monday” intro to run it’s course. Coincidence? Perhaps.

According to the release, “Teenage Sweater is cheerful music for introverts, and Ruiz describes himself as such, but assures that neither the music, nor his preference to be alone should be taken as a tendency towards melancholy or depression.”

Peep game on the “Scentless Apprentice”-aping “Oceans and Seas” and an extended version of “SWEAT” below:

The band is currently on tour, and will be playing the Rickshaw Stop with The Hundred in the Hands on June 26.

The Hundred in the Hands, Silver Swans, Teenage Sweater
Rickshaw Stop
June 26, 8 p.m., $10-12 (all ages)