Teen Daze poised to build on its blog buzz
Abbotsford is notable for a few reasons. For one thing, in terms of sheer size, it’s the largest city in the province. It’s also home to the country’s biggest air show, and to the B.C. Angels of the Lingerie Football League. (Really!) One thing the Fraser Valley community is not, however, is a hotbed of indie music. Plenty of musicians live there, of course, but thanks to a lack of venues, an active scene has yet to coalesce.
Jamison, who makes music under the name Teen Daze, calls Abbotsford home, and he admits that it doesn’t have a lot going on. However, he insists that these days geography is of little consequence.
“If you can post music online and have a big sort of community or fan base based through the Internet, you can live in a place like Abbotsford or Kelowna—you know, places that aren’t necessarily rock ’n’ roll towns, to use a maybe outdated expression,” says Jamison, reached on tour in Toronto. “You can do music from basically anywhere.”
Jamison ought to know. Through a series of EPs and singles released in the past two years, he has built a following largely by capturing the ears of a few influential music bloggers. Now, with the release of Teen Daze’s first full-length effort, All of Us, Together, Jamison is poised to capitalize on all that attention. The songs range from the high-summer dance-floor pop of the vocal-driven “Brooklyn Sunburn” to the halcyon haze of “Hold”, the ambient instrumental that closes the LP on a note of late-night serenity. Despite this diversity, the album’s 10 tracks are built from a relatively simple palette—mostly spare beats and warm, shimmery synth pads, melodies, and arpeggios—which lends it the cohesiveness suggested by its title.
“I definitely wanted to make it flow,” Jamison says. “I wanted to make it have a very fluid sort of feeling to it. And it’s funny, because the next record that I’m gonna be putting out is sort of a step away from that. I wanted to try and have a few left-field turns and totally different-sounding songs on the record.”
No matter how those stylistic deviations sound, you can bet someone will describe them as “chillwave”. Teen Daze had that essentially meaningless label applied to it right from the start, and Jamison knows it will be hard to shake.
“I put an EP out last fall, called A Silent Planet,” he notes. “There were barely any sort of rhythms or drums on the tracks. It was really spacy, a lot of loops and weird textures and things like that. It sounded like a dream-pop album, or more like shoegaze. The last thing in my mind was ‘People are going to call this a chillwave record.’ And that’s all I heard for two months: ‘New chillwave EP from Teen Daze.’
“At the end of the day you can call it what you want,” Jamison concludes. “It doesn’t really affect me either way. But I don’t want people to be turned off, or potentially not listen to the music, because someone’s associated it with a certain genre. I just want people to hear the music.”
Teen Daze plays Electric Owl next Sunday (July 22).