Brand New Music from Teen Daze

credit: Sharalee Prang (from the artist, via NPR)
credit: Sharalee Prang (from the artist, via NPR)

 

I’d never heard of Teen Daze before 2015, but that year Morning World was my favorite album. (Review here.)

Now Teen Daze has a new full-length release: Themes For Dying Earth. Jamison–the creative genius behind the moniker–says of the album:

I’m really excited to get to share it with you; I know the last few weeks have been difficult and tense for a lot of the world.  I wrote this album as a way to work out my own stresses and anxieties, and I truly hope it can bring peace to all of you.

Themes for Dying Earth is now streaming at NPR First Listen. It’s quite a departure from the John Vanderslice-produced Morning World, but still worth repeated listens.

 

New Teen Daze Music! New Teen Daze Music! New…

Teen Daze Célébrer

I’d never heard of Teen Daze before last August. His/their Morning World was one of my favorite new releases in a very long time.

Today I received an email that there is more Teen Daze music. I’m listening to each of these mini-releases, song by song. The feel of the lead single “Célébrer” is pretty different from Morning World, even different from his other more synth-heavy stuff. But it’s pretty sweet.

Here–I’ll just quote a chunk of the email/press release, since it hyperlinks to all the songs. Enjoy!

After releasing last year’s full length, Morning World, Teen Daze has announced that 2016 will see the release of several new, dance-oriented singles.  The first, Célébrer, is already available to stream and download.  Along with the single, you can dive into the first episode of Célébrer Radio, a new, hour long mix series, featuring 60 mins of upbeat dance music.

In other new release news, Teen Daze has contributed a new song to the latest alaya. compilation.  The serene, spacious track, Narrow Road, Too Deep, was created in several different countries and was inspired by “cyclonic weather in Northern Australia, the great new age artist Laraaji, and humid days exploring the labyrinth of Hatsudai, a neighbourhood in Tokyo.”

On top of all of this, there have been two new Teen Daze remixes that have dropped in the last two months.  Check out the dreamy rework of Japanese Wallpaper’s beautiful song, Forces, and the dance floor-ready edit of Drake’s Hotline Bling.

Review of Teen Daze’s Morning World: Do Yourself a Favor and Listen to This Amazing Album. Right Now.

 

It’s already August, so I’ll just call it now: Teen Daze’s Morning World is 2015’s Album of the Year.

Two weeks ago I had never heard of Teen Daze, impoverished soul that I was. The lush, arpeggiated riff that opens the album on “Valley of Gardens” drew me immediately in.

Then Jamison, genius behind Teen Daze, sweetly sings:

I went down
To see what the pond had collected.
A valley of gardens
Muted the sound of the hills.
And the rain had ended
I can smell the leaving of winter.
Blue and green, now:
I feel them in every sentence.

…which is a good thing, because there aren’t that many sentences on this record. Jamison doesn’t need many lyrics, though, because (a) the ones he uses are plenty evocative and (b) the music is expressive, creative, intricately layered, and speaks for itself.

After my first listen or two, I described Teen Daze’s sound as if The Lassie Foundation were covering Badly Drawn Boy songs, with some mid-1990s James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) sprinkled in. The drums are perfect, the riffs are unforgettable, and the production (John Vanderslice, mastered by Bob Weston) is outstanding.

But then on about my fourth listen through, I noticed the strings. Oh, those strings. They really make the album. Cello and rock and roll were made for each other. And these parts are perfectly orchestrated.

Morning World somehow has a way of evoking so many bands I’ve loved over the last couple decades, yet with its own unique sound.

The title track, “Morning World,” is what my college roommate might have called “the perfect pop song.” Its 4:15 duration could easily be 10 minutes, and you wouldn’t mind. Jamison asks in his falsetto:

Should I, drift back
Drift back, into a dream.
Into a dream?

The album pulls the listener into this dream—no, not the dream of the 90s, but visions of the Garden of Eden (“finally a place of endless wonder”). If Teen Daze is suggesting Morning World could have been the Garden’s soundtrack, it’s hard to argue.

But despite the promise that “We can live forever,” and the desire to “believe that this is forever,” mid-album (and the lyrics only allude to it, allowing the music to do the work) the listener realizes something has gone wrong in the Garden. The rest of the record comes to grips with what it means when “forever” actually has an end.

Morning World—released today—is actually a fairly significant departure from Teen Daze’s previous work. I went back and listened to three previous albums, and there’s barely a live drum set or unprocessed guitar part to be found. That older, ambient, synth-heavy stuff is awesome in its own right (and still has a place here), but the new sound serves Teen Daze’s music well.

Also—Teen Daze took just 10 days to make this album. Yes, 10 days—6 for recording and 4 for mixing. There are a few times when this shows–a couple muffled guitar notes here and there–but that comes across and mostly endearing and just adds to the album’s charm. You’d otherwise never know this genius record took less than two weeks to bring to completion.

Get this album as soon as you can, put on a pair of headphones, turn off your device notifications, and enjoy what is easily the best album of the year. Find it here (iTunes) and here (Amazon).

——

Thanks to the good folks of Force Field PR for the album download for review.

This Will Be 2015’s Album of the Year

 

Imagine if The Lassie Foundation covered a suite of Badly Drawn Boy songs, with 1996 James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) sitting in on guitar and vocals.

And then sprinkle in an Eno/Lanois influence. Among other awesomeness.

The new record from Teen Daze–whom I’d never heard from till last week–is stellar.

NPR’s First Listen has the forthcoming Morning World available to stream in its entirety. Listen and read more about the album here.