Teen Daze is the perfect name for a project that produces such ambient drool as that heard on first album, All of us, Together. This young lad hailing from Vancouver brings all the established irony of our very hip generation of 90‘s kids-gone-hippie. When I first heard the name I expected some fun and dirty electro pop and that’s kind of what I got, but not really. What I actually heard was the instrumental version of my own teen day dreams. Call me old-fashioned, because what I’m about to say is very Grandma, but, to be frank—I have had enough with the over-synthed noise trend, it gives me a headache and I really end up missing the vocals.
The intentions seem to be mildly candy-coated-pop, meant to be nostalgic and idyllic but the repetitive annoyance of sound comes out more Yo, Gabba Gabba than nuance. The Utopian vibe is felt, but falls short of bringing the listener to the full potential of musical Nirvana. It’s like the musical difference between the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere—one is about and one talks about.
Basically, wanting to create something and creating it are two different things and All of us, Together, altogether falls short of said illusionary goals. Not that the album lacks talent, but I’ll be so bold to say it lacks a certain originality that I so crave when pressing play. Like his peers, Teen Daze spends too much time in the trend. While the production value is substantial, it’s all technique and no passion, lack of inspiration leaves the tracks sounding flat in contrast to the very bubbly effect of the songs themselves.
Now allow me to remove my personal taste from the equation. The sound is similar to the noise heard when unicorns prance across bubble wrap—poppy and sharp. High-pitched falsetto “ah’s” are peppered through the songs, giving the effect of angelic backup. I imagine the album being played in the backdrop of a Sofia Coppola flick—all gauzy nightgowns and depraved youth. Like a melodramatic sunrise the songs weave endlessly, like booming rays of zing-heavy beats. A vast embolic plateau of humming create funeral procession like intros, most especially in For Body and Kenzie, before slowly building, beat-upon-beat—before you know it you’ve moved from funeral procession to gay porn robot battles in outer space. Far-fetched I know, but give it a listen and I think you’ll agree.
Amidst these dainty rave anthems I found a couple of tracks worthy of my iPod playlist. Erbstuck, an up beat, house sounding ditty that I keep throwing on when riding my bike. Close your eyes and you can almost taste the ecstasy pills on your tongue. With euphoric bass and ditzy breaks, it sounds like how perfect first dates feel.
Besides that brilliant little gem, I highly suggest Late and Treten. However, if you’re looking for a more thorough electronic producer with a variety of jams that don’t blend into one boring blob of mush—you should definiltey check out Washed Out, Apparat, Clams Casino and Baths (to name a few).
Words: Jasmine Richelle
Artist: Teen Daze
Album: All of Us, Together
Release Date: June 5, 2012