Teen Daze Teen DazeThe Inner Mansions
There is a breed of musicians that are logistically able to make an indecent amount of music. Most of them, are geniuses, people whose creativeness is like some kind of disease that can only be controlled if it is shared with the world. Some of them wait patiently and ponder upon pieces until they evolve into something bigger, better and brighter. They are well known for being perfectionists and possessing high quality control standards. Others probably don’t have the time to stop to think about it, and release loads of songs that were just the stem of something that never got to grow and bloom as it was supposed to. “All Of Us, Together”, the official debut album of Canadian Teen Daze didn’t have that wow factor that all his previous work did, but that wasn’t enough excuse for the music critics around the globe to slag him off. Teen Daze has been changing and evolving since he released “Four More Years” back in July 2010, eagerly experimenting, and making journalists of all nationalities attach all kind of tags to describe his sound. Chillwave, IDM, techno, pop, shoegaze, hypnagogic pop, ambient dance, dream pop…you name it.
The songs from his debut have been compared to the sound of others by the critics: The Field, Four Tet, Gold Panda, Baths, Gui Boratto… and people and journalists have been expecting him to be like Washed Out, Toro Y Moi and Neon Indian. But Jamison doesn’t like to follow any kind of trend and he doesn’t seem to be on the same wave-length of all the aforementioned artists. To prove this theory, you only need to listen to all his work to find yourself jumping from one planet to another. Apart from being an avid reader, he is surely a greedy listener, and he is not ashamed to drop names; recently he put together a mix of an hour’s worth of music that has been an inspiration to the creation of this record. In that mix you can find The Album Leaf, a band that he has pointed to as one of his major influences back in the day, when he started making music. There is also Four Tet, Boards of Canada, Bibio, Sigur Ros, My Bloody Valentine and Brian Eno amongst others, and he has also mentioned that the album is heavily influenced by the book The Interior Castle or The Mansions by St. Teresa of Avila.
You can feel all these musical influences to some extent on the record, there is some Sigur Ros on “Garden 1” and “Garden 2”, echoes of Four Tet on “Spirit”, and some of The Album Leaf on “By Love”, and there is a cover version of Brian Eno’s “Always Returning”. But you can also feel that he is on the right path to find his own identity. If you have been following his short but prolific career, you will surely recognize him, even on “Union”, where Frankie Rose of Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls fame sings. These are ten beautiful songs that won’t make you dance like the ones from his “My Bedroom Floor”, but will surely draw a smile on your face.
An album as optimistic as Jamison’s approach to making music: he doesn’t care about the tags given by snobby music critics, or what the record labels might think, and he has admitted to only caring about people liking his work – and that, in the end, is what really matters and what makes an artist thrive.
“The Inner Mansions” obviously can’t be compared to Boards of Canada’s “Music Has The Right To Children” or Brian Eno’s “Music For Airports”, it is not a breakthrough album, and it surely won’t be remembered as a modern classic. But Teen Daze has a powerful drive and talent, and he is on his way to accomplish something big, and this is more than just a step.