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.