Unapologetically fun and fearlessly indie, Teen Girl Scientist Monthly launched its new album, We Run with Gangs, at Mercury Lounge on Monday night, bringing a refreshing jolt of youthful energy to the freezing cold Lower East Side. With songs that evoke summer days, adorable romances, and totally epic indie adventures, the Brooklyn-based sextet play the sort of indie pop that, in other hands, might seem over the top. But with Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, you never get the sense that they're anything less than genuine.
On Monday, their love for pop was palpable—Morgan Lynch was a dynamic leader on vocals, moving gracefully and naturally as she sang; Matt Berger, likewise, was a force on guitar and vocals. Only once, on "Deborah," was the line between child-like earnestness and cloyingness nearly breached. With lyrics like "Sugar in the sunshine! Rockets in the night sky! Never ever gonna go home again!" the song pushed cutesiness to its limit.
But just when you think things have gotten too twee, the band surprises you with its range and depth. A few songs later they played "These Days," a hummable tune with a simple but powerful lyric about growing up and managing expectations."Well everybody's telling me what I gotta be these days / Not sayin' that they hold me down / Just thinking that I hear that sound," Melissa Lusk sang before the song crescendoed to a repeated chant of "It's all right!"—a sort of anthem for the 20-something crowd getting its act together (or not).
The set ended with "Summer Skin," the runaway single from the band's first album, Modern Dances. With its driving beat and joyful chorus, it was a reminder of all the sun-soaked fun that, even in the depths of winter, actually didn't seem so far away.
More pics after the jump.