Rising Swedish duo Teddy Failure – Teo Runsiö and Frans Torell – excel at writing songs which capture the highs and lows of your teenage years. The pair capture every step, from first love to first heartbreak via youthful misadventure, in beguiling songs full of instantly memorable pop hooks and wide-eyed innocence.
That breezy, laidback charm is very much a part of their brand new single ‘Be My Guest’. As with the best of the duo’s work, its natural immediacy soon matched by their love of an unpredictable twist. What first appears to be a simple acoustic ballad suddenly veers off-road, with a jittery trap beat and a meandering guitar line. Listen HERE
Teo says, “It was weird, because we added that trap beat, and then we couldn’t listen to it without laughing – we thought it was so goofy.”
Lyrically it’s a song that reflects the duo’s philosophical attitude towards life, as it explores the idea of a romance that’s easy come, easy go. It also touches upon the pair’s nihilistic streak with the unforgettable opening line, “That was when she said, ‘even roses end up dead.’”
‘Be My Guest’ as well as the recent singles ‘1000 Tears’ and ‘Stoner’ all provide a flavour of what to expect from the duo’s debut EP ‘I’m A Failure Pt. 1’. Full of yearning melodies and addictive hooks, it’s united by a simple outlook: if you take life too seriously, you might end up missing it altogether. Hip-hop is clearly a dominant influence – think early Tyler, the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt and Kendrick Lamar – while their lyrics are infused with a love of film, predominantly coming-of-age classics such as ‘Juno’ and late night stoner comedies like ‘Pineapple Express’.
Teo and Frans met at Stockholm’s Södra Latin school, whose prestigious music programme has produced alumni such as Lykke Li, Yung Lean and Max Martin. Despite different focuses (Teo studied classical guitar, while Frans specialised in bass and jazz) they were immediately drawn to working together. At first they honed their songwriting by working with artists including ALMA, SHY Martin, Winona Oak and Naaz. But deep-down, they knew their whimsical style would be better suited to their own songs. In 2020, they ran their names through a word generator and Teddy Failure was born. The moniker was a serendipitous encapsulation of their music: the tenderness of youth combined with an acceptance of the fact that we all get it wrong, sometimes.