I haven’t been listening to a ton of new music recently. There just hasn’t been much that has grabbed me that I felt I needed to jump into further. Not that I haven’t been listening to music, though. What I’ve been doing is listening to a nice blast from the past that’s getting me hyped for summer, even if what exactly this summer will look like is a huge question right now. Currently, the number-one album I’m spinning is Teenage Retirement from Chumped.
Teenage Retirement came out in 2014 and was the only full-length album Chumped put out together. They showed up, dropped one excellent album on us, and then broke up. Frontwoman Anika Pyle (who may or may not be in the front row of a video of Radiator Hospital playing “Your Song” live that I have watched on YouTube dozens of times) went on to perform as Katie Ellen. Her album Cowgirl Blues was one of my favorites, maybe my favorite, album of the year when it came out. She hasn’t had an album come out since under that name, so maybe she has a thing for short-lived projects.
Maybe Teenage Retirement feels like summer to me because the album cover is a dude floating in a suburban pool. Maybe it’s the fact there’s a song called “Hot 97 Summer Jam.” Also, that’s the best song on the album, and a staple of many of my playlists. There are many good songs on the album, though. It’s an old-school pop punk sound, even for 2014. That could also be a reason why it feels like summer to me. It’s the sound of many a summer when I was slightly younger. Not that this is a nostalgia trip for me. Teenage Retirement still sounds excellent. I’m not somebody who is just going to sit around and listen to music for nostalgia. Otherwise, I would have listened to Taking Back Sunday at some point in the last decade.
I’m always on the lookout for excellent new releases to stick into my rotation. However, sometimes you have to bring out the throwbacks to give you the feelings you’re looking for. Right now, for me that means listening to Chumped’s one big swing for the fences. Teenage Retirement was a home run, and then the band walked off the field never to return.