Mar 152024
teenage joans call me maybe cover

2012’s song of the summer, “Call Me Maybe,” launched Carly Rae Jepson’s career with a little thanks to Justin Bieber. If you were a tween when it came out, it likely made as much of an impression as it did on the members of Australian duo Teenage Joans.

Teenage Joans, whose name echoes no wave legends Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, are an Adelaide-based punk-ish guitar-and-drums pair that have received considerable acclaim in their native state. But they grew up with pop like “Call Me Maybe” and decided to honour that heritage for Triple J’s legendary cover program “Like a Version.”

Instead of keyboard strings, the cover begins with rapidly strummed guitar. And the iconic synth hook is initially only played on guitar. But in a twist, at least for punk-adjacent bands, there’s a string section! The strings play the hook briefly but also just provide accompaniment as guitar Cahli Blakers and drummer Tahlia Borg.

It wouldn’t be 21st century punk without a breakdown and that’s where the two really transform, as, after, they vamp through the final verse and chorus, still accompanied by those strings. It’s a fun cover by a duo that clearly love the song.

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