LISTEN: “Teeth” by Junior Bill

Without any background on the latest from Junior Bill, called “Teeth”, I immediately dug the laid back reggae vibe the band was laying down. Easy grooves. Sauve vocals. Infectious bass and beats.

Then I tuned into the words, the lyrics, and was like hold up, what?

But that’s what I like about Junior Bill. They lay down great tracks of music that are easily digestible to one’s ears and then sneak in potent lyrics and before you know it, you’re not only moved by the beat of the music but moved by the words of the lyrics.

“Teeth” continues that music sleight of hand.

Artwork by Dan Nichols

The band said that “Teeth” 

tells the story of an elderly woman who can’t stop eating sweets, living a lonely life in a Truman Show-style world where people “live and work and die” all in one isolated neighbourhood. It’s all somewhat reminiscent of Britain’s increasingly claustrophobic societal atmosphere. This toy-town is recreated in the song’s video, a naive stop-motion animation made by Junior Bill and his friends. The track deals with themes of isolation, the loneliness of ageing, our increasing inability as a nation to care for the vulnerable, as well as the song’s main hook singing of the both immediate and deeper long-term need for the country’s national healthcare.

My mind asks, but how?!? The music is a feel good beat. The lyrics are anything but feel good.

And that’s the magic of Junior Bill. Confusing the brain, confusing the heart, and making one feel all of the feels at once. 

Listen to “Teeth” below