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Teen Daze ‘Morning World’ – Album Review

Paper Bag (2015)

Having pioneered the chillwave movement with a prolific run of four albums in three years, Vancouver producer Jamison, aka Teen Daze, takes a new tack for his fifth studio effort, Morning World.

Indeed, the ambient electronica that defined the likes of 2013 predecessor Glacier has been all but abandoned, and in its place is a more organic, if equally hazy, guitar-led sound co-produced by San Francisco journeyman John Vanderslice (Spoon, St. Vincent).

It’s a reinvention which Teen Daze pulls off with aplomb, particularly on the lo-fi slacker rock of “Alone” and the shapeshifting opener “Valley of Gardens,” which blends everything from baroque pop to delicate folk to the vintage West Coast sounds of the early 70s into one sun-kissed mix.

And whereas Jamison’s previous efforts have seen his production talents take center stage, here it’s his charming wistful tones that steal the show, whether it’s on the vintage Beach Boys-esque harmonies of the title track, the virtually a cappella intro of “It Starts at the Water,” or the crooning attempt on the piano-led closer, “Good Night.”

But Morning World still has the occasional chillwave flourishes, such as the woozy synths that permeate the more propulsive indie-rock of “Infinity” and the loping bass-led instrumental “You Said,” and its relaxed nature means there’s little that would sound out of place amongst Teen Daze’s more digital-heavy dreamlike back catalog.

Morning World has been described by Teen Daze as “Garden of Eden, a place of transcendent, painfree beauty, but with one key distinction… it’s not real and time there is finite.” While that may be a rather pretentious statement, it’s one which ultimately fits the record to a T.

3.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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