Truly great house music is getting harder and harder to find these days.
Teengirl Fantasy makes truly great house. Though their older work featured vocals that were completely based off of samples, their new album Tracer features from such heavyweights as Panda Bear from Animal Collective, Laurel Halo and the mighty Romanthony, whose vocals appeared on Daft Punk’s classic “One More Time.”
Nonstop Sound met with the Williamsburg duo at a local pizza parlor to discuss their sound, their experiences with success, and of course, Romanthony.
Nonstop Sound: How do you get your sound?
Nick Weiss: "We each play synthesizer, drum machine, sequencer, all that stuff."
NS: If you could describe Teengirl Fantasy in seven words what would it be?
NW: "Hmmm…deep, house, experimental, easy listening, jazz."
NS: How did you guys get started?
Logan Takahashi: "We met our first year at Oberlin College — we just graduated from there, so I guess it was four and a half years ago. We met each other the first couple of weeks, because we lived in the same co-op system."
NS: How does it feel to get this type of attention at this age?
LT: "It’s crazy."
NW: "It’s all relative. ... I think a lot of popular music our age is being made by younger and younger people."
NS: What have you been doing today?
NW: "We were actually up really late because we mastered our new album yesterday; we were up really late finalizing the tracklisting, and this morning we’ve been fielding interview requests. We used to have a manager, but now we’ve been managing ourselves."
NS: What is that like?
LT: "It’s the way we’ve done it for the most amount of time we’ve been working together."
NW: "Our aesthetic is something you can’t just hand over to anyone and expect them to get it. It helps that we have our hand in everything. It’s fun to plan things yourself."
LT: "We know a lot of artists that give into this pressure to rush into having a manager. We’ve seen it happen to friends. We’re definitely down to have a manager, but we have to find the right one."
NS: Tell me about the record.
NW: "It’s really exciting. We started writing the songs last spring, and started recording over the summer. We mixed all summer, and have had additional mixing help from this guy in the U.K. who’s the in-house mixer at R&S, and we had help from this mixer in the city on the vocal tracks. We put a lot more into making the songs painstakingly detailed."
LT: "A lot of the songs we started writing in a live situation, with our hardware, jamming. That process started last April. A bunch of them we toured with all summer, developed them that way. It’s been a combination of that and tweaking them this fall."
NW: "We also really wanted to work with certain vocalists. We didn’t use any samples on this album. This time we took more time because we had to make personal connections with some of the vocalists."
NS: Romanthony appears on this record.
NW: "That was the one that took the longest time. We had to actually connect with him, talk to him on the phone a bunch. He’s a busy guy, and it took a while to make it work. We’re really happy with the outcome of that song."
LT: "It initially started as a pipe dream, and we ended up getting his contact and he wanted to do it. It’s definitely the hype track on the record."
NW: It’s a big house tune. It’s fun. People’s response to it was pretty instant."