It would be hard to accuse Teen Daze of false advertising as far as artist names go. Chillwave is a buzzword that’s been beaten to death lately, but it is what it sounds like: washes of synth that lap over the listener like there’s no such thing as rock n’ roll. It might be the easiest music in the world to listen to, so it’s no wonder that it has made its way out of the hipster depths of bedroom sound studios to float into the wider world. Chillwave is for everyone!
Teen Daze specializes in an especially dreamy strain of the genre. Whereas Washed Out’s Ernest Greene gives a few of his compositions a minor key edge and an occasional dash of muddled vocals, Teen Daze brings a kind of wordless digital euphoria to All of Us, Together that’s hard to shake. The beats are light, and they interweave with the shimmering synth notes in such a way that your body doesn’t know whether to start a head-bob that will soon migrate down south to your hips, or curl up for a long bout of soul-searching. Teen Daze’s ditties are, in some ways, like summer when you’re young: lazy, pleasantly aimless, and over too soon.
Some of the album’s best work is showcased in “Cold Sand”, a Hearts of Space-y tune that might take you back to a time when your parents made you listen to weird electronic music on NPR during car rides. It’s faster-paced than some of the other tracks, but it sparkles and scintillates in classic Teen Daze fashion. This one seems built for the dance floor, but one for a trippy high school prom, rife with pastels and acid-spiked punch.
While Teen Daze’s formula has worked in EP form in the past, it wears thin by the end of the full-length album. Distant, unintelligible vocals finally make an appearance in “The Future”, but so do the flourishes of major-note synths that have been slammed into every other song. The final track, “Hold”, features the same synth strokes only without a beat, and yet slowly peters out to a satisfying conclusion. If anything, it’s a great album to fall asleep to–you’ll be out cold before the sound overstays its welcome.
Key tracks: “Cold Sand”, “The Future”, and “Hold”