New single “Smile” out Feb. 4
tantrumteddy’s “Smile” is an ominously soothing work of psychopop. In a playful take on depression, the Brooklyn-based recording artist bemoans, “You will die/ So will I/ This will all be over soon/ Smile!” The track is a folktronic whirlwind, oscillating between haunting vocal chants over gently plucked strings and lush, boom-bap inspired refrains. Growling bass lines, creepy vocal samples and oddly satisfying chords complete the vibe.
In the song’s official video, tantrumteddy tours Manhattan on a deranged selfie escapade, seldom breaking a center-screen Kubrick stare against a wildly shifting backdrop of outdoor locations. The song and video drop on streaming services Feb. 4.
“Smile, Ur Dying”
Can neuroticism be fun? Exploring the question, Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter and producer Ted Henderson laughs through depression, embraces uncertainty and welcomes inner demons to the table by way of his musical alter-ego, tantrumteddy. In the face of lyrical doom-and-gloom, his music maintains a healthy sense of humor, self-awareness and sonic levity, offering a “bounce with the burden” vibe to listeners.
The recording artist’s debut EP, Smile, Ur Dying, is set to hit streaming airwaves May 6, 2022. Several singles and videos from the project drop in the months preceding its official release date. Divulging themes of black-and-white thinking, perpetual immaturity, loserdom and the narcissistic woes of a social-media-driven reality, the collection is a playful examination of millennial brain pain. Musically, the record rides the line between intellectual pop and absurdism, offering ample moments of strange beauty, introspection and groove. Note comparisons to the likes of Gorillaz, Mac Miller and Beck.
Self-taught from an early age, Henderson found reprieve from social awkwardness and family trauma through learning to play the guitar. His later studies in jazz and classical composition influenced a unique approach to songwriting and production. Shaped in the plasticity-laced bizarro world of Orlando, Fla., Henderson’s sound is a darkly cheeky mashup of electropop, blue-eyed soul, indie rock and folk. Dreamt up as an experiment marrying dense ukulele plucking with an AKAI drum machine, tantrumteddy’s work centers around passionate, layered crooning and a lyrical cynicism, all said and done with a smile.