Comprised of Nick Rose and Dan Griffin, the Toronto-based pop duo Teen Ravine can trace their origins to a series of apartment-based studio collaborations begun back in the spring of 2016. Since then, the duo has specialized in work that they describe as thematically focusing on Gen Y’s struggle between the desire for and the fear of intimacy that ironically has explored through material they wrote and recorded in their bedrooms. We all want to get close to another — but not too close, out of a fear of getting hurt, an inability to discern our true desires or for some other more dysfunctional reason. And while the duo claim that it’s a particular struggle for their generation, I can tell you from experience that unfortunately, it’s not; it’s frustratingly part of the human condition.
Rose and Griffin’s full-length debut is slate, and for release at the end of this month, and the album’s latest single “Bad Dream” sonically draws from 70s AM Rock and late 70s and early 80s singer/songwriter pop centered around a hook-laden, breezy yet soulful arrangement of Rhodes piano, fuzzy synths, a sinuous bass line, propulsive drumming and as a result the song recalls Billy Joel’s heyday — think “Movin’ Out,” and “Captain Jack,” Carole King and list of others. And much like those songs, the duo’s latest single focuses a bit on seeking comfort and pleasure in sadness, because — well, it’s yours; but underneath that is the sense that the song’s narrator has spent his time obsessively picking at emotional scabs until they’re left raw and oozing, instead of taking time to let them heal in any significant way.