Release Date: Aug 14, 2015
Record label: Paper Bag Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
Teen Daze has an on-and-off relationship with the dancefloor. It makes sense: the artist known otherwise as Jamison (he uses only his first name professionally) lives in the Fraser Valley, an exurb of Vancouver that isn't exactly known for a clubbing scene, and it's far enough away from its larger neighbor that you'd probably need a hotel room to bother going out. His earliest work was lumped in with chillwave, but through releases like All of Us, Together, the rhythms started to become the focal point of his productions, leading him to play club sets and even DJ occasionally.
When the mononymous man behind Teen Daze, Jamison, released All of Us, Together, his 2012 full-length debut, it became apparent that the Vancouver-based knob-twiddler was an indie rocker at heart. On his next two releases, The Inner Mansions and Glacier, he decided to delve further into synth-based electronics, exploring ambient music on the latter.On his fourth LP, Morning World, Jamison comes full circle, hiring indie hero John Vanderslice to record the 11 tracks that would comprise the album. Although songs like "Pink" and "Life in the Sea" benefit from a modish production style that mimics IDM textures, much of Morning World comes off like a sturdily structured indie pop album.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. It does not take an extraordinary amount of imagination to get an idea of what a band named Teen Daze will sound like. This seemed especially easy after having listened to the five-year progression of this project, which serves as an alias for the 29-year-old Jamison from British Columbia. Coming to prominence at the dawn of chillwave's moment in the sun in 2010, the song 'Let's Fall Asleep Together' still captures the spirit of that movement with breezy ease.
When the musician simply known as Jamison turned to his Teen Daze name in the past, he was looking to release electronic tracks, namely those which sweep through downtempo rhythms with grandeur. For all things non-electronic, as broad as that is, he turned to his other moniker, Two Bicycles. On 2012's The Inner Mansions, Teen Daze began to absorb some of the latter's traits.
On Morning World, Teen Daze (the solo project of a Vancouver-based man known only as Jamison) ventures far outside of the self-contained bubble of home recording, traveling to San Francisco to work with John Vanderslice at his analog recording studio Tiny Telephones. The album is a far cry from the chilled house beats and glacial ambience of earlier Teen Daze recordings, coming a lot closer to neatly orchestrated chamber pop. This isn't to say that his music is no longer atmospheric or relaxing, or that there are no more synthesizers to be found in his music.
Teen Daze’s 2012 full-length debut, All of Us, Together, was a vivid, shared dream, often beautiful but not especially complex. It latched onto the most obvious, recognizable parts of the chillwave craze with a vice grip, completely unburdened by vocals and anything that resembled an actual physical instrument. Despite hitting you over the head with its shimmering synths, it cast its own sort of spell.
Working with musical hero/prolific songwriter John Vanderslice, Teen Daze (aka Jamison) was bound to discover his own voice, shedding the layers of ambient bedroom recordings that smothered it in the past. For his sixth full-length album, he travelled to San Francisco to record in Vanderslice’s analog studio, a move that adds an indie rock sound to his usual electronic palette and puts his bright vocals at the front. The hooky synth melodies of his previous work are still here, but now they’re accompanied by piano and lush guitar.
It’s a perfectly reasonable plan of PR attack to spin a new album from a fledgling songwriter as a collaboration with a seasoned musician and producer. Fine and dandy, makes sense. Because John Vanderslice is much more of a name—in more ways than one—than Jamison, the surname-less musician from Abbotsford, British Columbia, that goes by Teen Daze.