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My Teenage Stride

For something that started as a “bedroom recording project,” Brooklyn-based My Teenage Stride has come pretty far. The band has released several acclaimed records, all without a record label, and even wormed its way into a London Times story about a mix-tape revival that may or may not exist. It sounds like a lot of fuss over a band that has never once stepped into a recording studio and at times consists of only one member, but consistent frontman Jed Smith sees the humor, especially in the genre ascribed by the Times.

“There’s this kind of random made-up thing the London Times was writing about,” he says. “They thought there was this cohesive scene going on in Brooklyn, and there isn’t any.”

The “scene” has to do with what he calls his “lo- to mid-fi” early-’80s guitar-pop recordings, like the 1980s C86 cassette compilation released by British music magazine New Musical Express, featuring bands like Primal Scream, The Wedding Present and The Soup Dragons.

“It’s quite funny to see the major newspaper from another country have this completely out-of-the-blue take on this thing, but I guess we’re bigger over there,” he says.

Although his style of music seems to have a large following in the U.K., it can still be difficult to get big anywhere when one admits to very little touring experience, as Smith does. But his unstructured live shows can be memorable, with formal arrangements tossed out and more emphasis on a good time.

“I basically kind of throw all [arrangements] out live. I kind of play everything loud and fast with less regard to the formal structure,” he says. “There’s definitely more of a higher energy. It’s little bit wilder than it is on record.”