Hot weather and summer vacations always seem to usher in a new wave of teenage angst. Everyone is searching for that head banging, windows down while driving, “it’s not a phase, Mom” song of the summer. With Superhead’s new single, “Supersoaker,” we get all of that and more.
Superhead is an indie punk trio, composed of Jason Frankel, Aidan Kane, and Bran James, based in Boston. This new single, written by Frankel, is an indie punk anthem for teenagers based anywhere. Self-described as “bottled up teen angst revealing itself to be insecurities” on the band’s Bandcamp, “Supersoaker” really does embody everything a typical teenager identifies with.
“Whatever you need
It’s out of reach
You can take what you want”
Demonstrating the powerlessness teenagers often feel, the song talks about knowing exactly what you need and not being able to get it. Yet the next line states that you can take whatever you want. That constant battle between the feelings of hopeless longing and endless freedom is a hallmark of the teenage experience- as is the conflict, opposition, and tension that the words themselves create.
“I know I’m well adjusted but I’m afraid of it all”
The conflict continues into the chorus. Being well adjusted would typically invite comfort, stability, and confidence into your life, but right away Frankel contradicts that assumption by saying he’s afraid of it. Again, this song perfectly captures the mentality of teenagers. Someone might be “good” at their life, or comfortable in their patterns, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still terrified of change, or of the possibility of someday not being good anymore. Or maybe some of the fear stems from wondering if being “good” at life is all there is to life. If the best you can hope for is to fall into comfortable patterns. Existential dread is common in teenagers, after all!
“I fear that life moves fast
Cause I’ll be twenty in four years
And I can’t stop that”
As much as teenagers may fear the monotony of a well-adjusted life- or the potential loss of it- they fear the future even more. Frankel acknowledges the inevitability of time passing in such a simple way- “I can’t stop that”- but it doesn’t make the realization any easier. There’s nothing you can do to slow down time, or catch your breath, and that’s especially overwhelming for teenagers attempting to transition into an independent adulthood.
Sonically, “Superhead” again manages to represent the messiness of teenage angst. With the staticky, crunchy instrumentals, abrasive guitar (Frankel and James), relentless drums (Kane), and passionate vocals (Frankel and Kane), you really feel like you’re inside a teenage brain (and not in a bad way). Whether the song is nostalgic for those who’ve left their teenage years behind, or relatable for those still in them, everyone can identify with feeling scared, yet hopeful. Of dreading the future while accepting it is coming. That’s the nature of teenage angst.