Teen Daze falls short of former work

Lefserecords.com

Andrew Fernandez, Staff Writer

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ALBUM REVIEW

The rise of the Internet has given notice to smaller artists who would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Teen Daze, who tells his name as Jamison, is a solo artist from Vancouver, Canada who produces a wide genre of music that can only be generalized as a sort of experimental electronic. After rising to popularity with a number of EPs and singles, which drifted toward hazy nostalgia and the beach, Jamison released an ambient electronic album “All of Us, Together” earlier this year through Lefse Records. “The Inner Mansions” is his second album of the year and a less futuristic but still ambient sound for the artist. Lacking a continuity of sound to the former, “The Inner Mansions” takes a few mood swings and falls short of producing anything else that hasn’t been done before.

The first two tracks contain rhythm and beats that aren’t as groovy as his early music, but still leave something one can tap their foot or nod their head to. This is all thrown off towards his voice, which can be a hit and miss for listeners. As his name suggests, Teen Daze’s voice sounds like… well, a teen’s. It’s not quite as emotionally powerful as Youth Lagoon, but a toned down Owl City in falsetto. “Garden 1” is a prime example; it takes a more acoustic approach, trying to be passionate but comes off as a whiny off-pitch man who isn’t fifteen anymore. If the vocals were dialed down, lowered or just flat-out removed, these tracks would flow and suit the serenity of the following tracks.

While the first few are more similar towards dream pop with bands like Beach House and Memoryhouse, the rest of the ten track album is mostly all ambient and instrumental music. The strongest are those without vocals, sailing fluidly with no awkward interruptions and evoking a calm, neutral demeanor. Still being a relatively young and new artist, one can definitely hear the influences in each track from other contemporary staples in the genres he duplicates. “Discipleship” is a seven minute instrumental track, very similar toward other artists such as The Album Leaf and Explosions in the Sky. “By Love” is a more scenic track with birds chirping in the background and a harp that drifts the track along that suits the album art. “Union” is a random track that comes along halfway through that would make listeners turn down their stereos with the silent outro of the previous track. A more lo-fi indie pop track, “Union” demonstrates the ability Teen Daze has to create a more band sound including female vocals from Frankie Rose, but does not suit the moods conveyed previously.

“The Inner Mansions” is not quite background music, something one would hear in an elevator or public place and pass over one’s ear, but an album indecisive of the sounds it wants to convey. Vocals or not, half of the tracks could be released as an ambient instrumental EP, while the other a dream pop EP, and when meshed together can be argued that they flow but do not convey the same moods. Jamison shows some promise, but “The Inner Manshions” is a disappointment when compared to the cohesiveness of “All of Us, Together.”

Rating: 2/5

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