Iowa City’s newest indie rock band, Teen Daad, is hitting the ground running this week. The three-piece just released their first single “Have a Bite” on January 1 (along with a fun and kinda grotesque music video featuring lots of hamburgers and Nutella) and they’re digitally releasing their debut EP, Worth It, today.
Teen Daad is a sort of alternate universe version of The Olympics, the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City indie-pop group which also features Jeff Roalson on guitar and vocals and Noel Nissen behind the drums. Yet, whereas The Olympics has a sprawling, revolving door line-up with multiple guitarists, a keyboard player, and sometimes even back-up singers, Teen Daad represents a back-to-basics approach to rock and roll. In fact, bass player Zach Zeimer bought his bass guitar the same week the band got together to record their first songs.
Bandleader and local heartthrob Jeff Roalson finds the stripped-down nature of Teen Daad artistically reinvigorating.
“The trio is a blessing for this group because it acts as an outlet for me as a songwriter and helps me organize everything band-related,” Roalson said. “I am able to stick to my singer-songwriter roots and use Teen Daad for the songs I write that naturally work better as stripped down tracks without synths and second guitar parts like with The Olympics.”
The band’s first song, “Have a Bite,” is a powerful introduction to the new group’s sound, with an unstoppable low-end that drives right through your skull, and it’s a rougher and heavier style than fans of The Olympics are accustomed to. Of course, with any emerging band, finding a style and sticking to can be elusive and problematic.
“As far as the sound we’re trying to make, it falls somewhere within the realms of rock and roll,” Roalson said. “But even within this EP, we take it from lighter to heavier in about 13 minutes of tunes so we’re still not sure which face of this release will take charge with future material.”
Worth It will be released digitally and Roalson says the band has no plans to make physical copies, citing a desire to make their songs “as accessible as possible.” Although that’s certainly no longer a unique way for artists to release their music, it goes hand in hand with the young band’s approach to music-making — that it should be fun and open to everybody.
“The whole idea, at least initially, of this group is to play rock and roll music without getting so caught up in the production of sounds and sonic quality,” said Roalson. “Hopefully we’ve still created something people like to listen to but the season was ripe to just start up a new group and quickly pump out some tunes and a video with our friends.”
Teen Daad are working on a live set, which they hope to perform soon. The Olympics, however, have just announced a headlining show on January 31 at The Blue Moose Tap House.