Teenage Wrist’s track-by-track guide to new album Still Love

Teenage Wrist are awesome. Their new album, Still Love, is also awesome. So here’s Marshall Gallagher to tell you everything about it…

Teenage Wrist’s track-by-track guide to new album Still Love
Marshall Gallagher
Joe Calixto

To celebrate the release of California alt.rock duo Teenage Wrist’s excellent new album Still Love, frontman Marshall Gallagher takes us inside every single song on the band’s third record – from channeling the likes of Liam Gallagher, Bruce Springsteen and The Smashing Pumpkins, to lyrical topics tackling social media, toxic masculinity, and a little dose of nihilism…


“I’m pretty sure this chorus popped into my head at a Whole Foods parking lot in 2019, and sat in my voice memos for three years because I couldn’t crack the rest of it. For the demo I was over-annunciating the word ‘sunshine’ like Liam Gallagher as a joke – ‘sun-SHEE-AH-een’ – and it ended up staying that way because in this band, once a bit starts we do not relent. The lyrics were sort of a letter of encouragement to a girl I was dating at the time, which then became more directed at myself, and then opened up into this more universal plea for people to let go of their past trauma and stop cutting themselves down. Everyone needs a little reminder once in a while to let themselves be happy, guess I had to give myself that in the only way I know how: covered in five layers of fuzz.”

2Dark Sky (feat. SA Martinez)

“So we wrote this one with Evan Anderson from 311’s camp, who we befriended while we were on tour with them last year. This dude basically reached out to me out of nowhere saying he was a huge fan of Wrist, we chatted for a few months on Instagram and out of the blue he asks if we want to open for them… which was the hardest and fastest my stomach has dropped probably in my life because – as anyone who knows me can confirm – I am a diehard 311 fan. We all hung out a little bit on tour, Nick Hexum dropped our name in the verse of Come Original… it was all a dream. The second time my stomach dropped through my ass was when Evan sent me a .wav file that said New Pollution SA Vocal – it was called that at the time but I didn’t want it to be confused with the Beck song. He had filled in the blank bridge with a classic SA verse that gave me the same feeling I got when I heard Galaxy circa age 11. Still absolute madness that I will relive as many times as I can before I die.”

3Still Love (feat. Softcult)

“Yet another time when I just could not crack the code to finish a song, passed it off to a friend and they spun it to be one thousand times better. I remember writing these lyrics and melody on a plane, dipping into the bathroom to record a voice memo without breathing through my nose. I had the meat of it pretty much dialled in and I knew I wanted it to be a track for the new record, but I had no idea where to take it without it going stale after the second verse. We spent a few weeks out with Softcult as the main support band on our first proper headliner, and we all quickly became friends. So I kicked this half-finished tune to Mercedes and asked if she and Phoenix wanted to help me tie it up. She sent back a rough bounce that actually made me tear up. It was so beautiful and on-point lyrically that it suddenly became my favourite. She has a way of being cunning and succinct with her words; she basically tied up everything I was trying to say about toxic masculinity and lobbed it back at me from the opposite side. It was awesome, I felt weirdly seen.”

4Digital Self

“One of the tunes we brought to life on our little writing retreat to Yucca Valley. Anthony [Salazar, drums] doesn’t normally contribute a ton to the lyrical side of things, but we tackled this one together and he got to flex his writing skills pretty hard. It feels to me like the safest one on the record, in a good way, because we’re just doing what we know we can do exceedingly well: write a fuzzed-out mid-tempo Pumpkins-ish guitar song. The lyrics are pretty obvious, just my frustration at how much of my time, energy, soul etc. are sucked up by social media. I think if I didn’t have a band to show off, I wouldn’t be on it at all.”

5Something Good

“I’ll be honest: at first I thought this one was a no-brainer single, but as we started turning out more material it faded into the background. I’m glad too because the lyrics are pretty personal and I don’t know if I want them out there under a spotlight. That’s always a risk with writing a song, though, I guess. How much of yourself do you really want to make visible, potentially at the expense of your friends and family? Better than writing easily consumable trash that means nothing to anyone, I suppose. Anyway, if Joe Walsh hears this and decides he owns the first three chords, we may have a lawsuit on our hands. Who hasn’t ripped off The Eagles and Third Eye Blind in a single swing?”

6Wax Poetic (feat. Sister Void)

“Most of the credit here goes to Lindsey Mann, aka. Sister Void. We created this one together from one of her poems – her lyrics and melody were so cool I didn’t even want to try to put my stamp on them. I did come up with a big lush chord progression though to go under it, and we ended up moving a few things around to make it feel like another mid-tempo Wrist staple. Instrumentally it actually turned out sounding like my old pre-Wrist project, Swing Hero. I think I found myself back in that feeling for a second, being 23 and pissed off at myself and pouring out I/IV emo songs intended for no-one. Spawned from one of those nights where the only thing I wanted to do was drink five beers, turn up my amp(s) as loud as they could go and play two fucking chords over and over like a shitty sound bath.”


“A bit of a leftfield grab, this one. I started it with my friend Nathaniel Motte who is a ridiculously talented and successful songwriter/producer and has no business working with me as much as he does. It’s a really cool feeling and it happens sometimes in the presence of others that are above your level – when a chord progression comes and a melody comes immediately after, like a really simple puzzle being put together. I don’t wanna get too up my own ass but writing this song felt like I wasn’t the one writing it. It felt like John Lennon and Chris Cornell were sprinkling down their B-side tapes from heaven, and I was trying to catch as many as I could to mush them into some vague idea that was bigger than I could really make sense of. That’s probably what most writers feel like when they’re ripping off some legendary song and they have no idea. I guess it’s about being small and useless against the forces moving the world, trying to look at the whole of existence through a tiny screen and a tiny mind. Sometimes I think anyone trying to pretend they know anything is full of shit and we should all shut up for a second, and try to understand each other in small doses before we start imposing our own will and beliefs onto one another. A little toe dip into the nihilist pool…”

8Cold Case

“Maybe the only one front-to-back that was made at that writing retreat, conceived and fully laid out. Even the final vocal of the last chorus is the one from the original demo, which I recorded by myself when Anthony went out to Pappy and Harriet’s. I was honestly scared to scream in front of him so I saved it for a time when he wasn’t around. My voice cracks pretty hard but something about it wouldn’t let go of me. The imperfection was perfect, sounds stupid but that’s what I love more and more about music these days – all the imperfection. There’s a lot of that in this song, which makes sense in the context of the lyrics because it’s basically about figuring out that I was clinically depressed. Going through all that needless self-loathing, anxiety, blah blah blah, thinking that it must be my fault, that there’s no way for me to be free of it besides just dealing with it like everyone else does.”

9Cigarette Two-Step (feat. David Marion)

“My friend Jonney and I were dicking around one day at the practice space we all share, making a Chris Dave-y drunken shuffle hip-hop beat that he eventually did his best Morrissey impression over. That’s where we extracted the line, ‘I’m not that sad about anything, really.’ It was this pseudo-apathetic lament drowning in three layers of irony, he was sad about not being sad, but the reality was that he was indeed sad. But not about anything in particular, just weighed down and so all-encompassing that it deserved to be made fun of. The South Park goth kids came to mind – they’re hilariously sad but not wrong in some cases – which is where we got Cigarette Two-Step. I ended up using that lyric/melody over this stupid instrumental that I had no idea what to do with – this was before I started Memorydrip with David Marion – and it turned into a feeling-blast about wanting to die over a Nine Inch Nails beat. By far the most unhinged piece of music I’ve ever been a part of.”

10Humbug (feat. Heavenward)

“We dug this one up from the Chrome Neon Jesus sessions, it was a B-side that didn’t make the cut for that record in its original state. It was Kam’s original verse and chorus, but Anthony and I revived it, shuffled some parts around, added some new bits and convinced Kam that instead of taking it for Heavenward – which he did want to do – he should feature on our version and it would make some old-school fans really happy. So that’s exactly what we did and it was probably more fun for us than it’s going to be for any of the CNJ stans out there that stopped listening to us after the first 30 seconds of Earth Is A Black Hole.”


“Often called Teenage Jungleland by our manager Ben, who shares my love for Bruce Springsteen – much to Anthony’s confusion. Because it’s long as hell and has a saxophone in it, which could also pass for Pink Floyd. We thought this one deserved a post-rock outro because it’s about some pretty epic wild shit that I experienced during the pandemic, which on the whole was a masterclass on living in the moment. I have no idea how we’re ever going to do this one live, much like some of this other stuff where I could never ever fill in the space where a featured vocalist would be. We’ll figure it out.”

12Paloma aka Ketamine

“I named this Paloma because I was drinking one of those canned Palomas while we were writing it, and I didn’t want to call it the obvious thing from the chorus. But we kept calling it Ketamine so now it’s both. For the record, I have never done Ketamine. It’s more of a metaphor I guess – in my case anyway – I can’t speak for either of the co-writers. It’s supposed to be about painful self-discovery, kinda ties the whole record together. It’s the ‘dude’s rug’ of songs. We could have easily made it into a five-minute epic closer, but we decided trying something extremely uncomfortable would be more in keeping with the song, and direction of the record as a whole. So we did it live, just me and a drum machine and Anthony banging on a cymbal. Oh, and a bass overdub, but only because we’re two people. This is what Teenage Wrist would sound like if we were trying to get the attention of Pitchfork.”

Check out more:

Now read these

The best of Kerrang! delivered straight to your inbox three times a week. What are you waiting for?