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Teen Daze – Glacier

on October 14, 2013, 12:00am

On Glacier, the third full-length album from Vancouver’s Teen Daze, sole member Jamison delves into some of his most esoteric soundscapes to date, finding a delicate balance between ambient electronic and indie pop. As the title would imply, the album has a decidedly wintry, crisp sound. Written as autumn turned to winter in his Canada hometown, Jamison loses the playful drums and harmonic synth moments in exchange for more ambient synth exploration and minimal drumming. The result is an album that moves as quickly as its namesake but dwells in some special areas along the way.

Featuring far less vocal work than his previous two albums, last year’s chillwave-drenched All Of Us, Together and the emotional and lyrical The Inner Mansions, it’s the hours of work that Jamison put into the layered instrumentals that highlight Glacier. “Tundra” starts with an abstract synth line that could have easily blossomed into a summery pop song on one of Teen Daze’s previous efforts, but here he lets it soak for almost the entire track, later layering in the other instruments and expanding the song into one of the better compositions on the album. “Forest at Dawn”, the longest of the bunch, is a slow burner that relies on a simple melody that sustains the whole six and a half minutes, legitimately giving you the feeling of being in a forest at dawn. If ever there was a song for Link to play on his flute in a new Zelda game, this would be it.

The album’s closer “Walk” is a good encapsulation of the album as a whole: It starts off slow taking almost 305 seconds to get going but swells into something of wintry majesty. This song is also where the Brian Eno influence shines through like the sun through an icicle, with a crawling pace that builds anticipation while barely varying from one sound and one emotion. The entire album, an inspiring instrumental accomplishment that moves at a glacial pace, puts Jamison in the leagues of some of the better ambient musicians going today, and on only his first real foray into the genre.

Essential Tracks: “Autumnal”, “Flora”, and “Walk”

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