Teen Daze - Four More Years
Chris Tapley 04/08/2010
It was just back in April that the bedroom producer known as Teen Daze posted his first track online, and within days Pitchfork and it's legion of imitation blogs were wetting themselves with giddy excitement. The rapid proliferation of Teen Daze's music is a perfect example of the new blog driven music culture where being first is the most important thing though, almost to the extent where the genesis of anticipation around this release is hardly unusual. It becomes a struggle to decipher whether this is as a result of the musics innate quality or because of it's relation with the current vogue niche. Thankfully Teen Daze falls neatly enough between those two camps for me to abandon such cynicism for the remainder of this review.
In a recent interview Teen Daze stated that part of the motivation in recording these tracks was discovering a new style of music purveyed by the likes of Washed Out and Toro Y Moi, and it does fit neatly within that bracket. It certainly has a similar surface feel but the haze doesn't run quite as deep here, with the tracks being built around crisp drum beats and elastic bass lines rather than translucent washes of synth. The latter is still present in abundance but seems less integral to it's appeal.
Musically speaking the appeal of Teen Daze is a rather complex thing to articulate, given it's so heavily reliant on vibes rather than particular aspects of the music. After listening to Four More Years it's less likely that you'll remember any specific track or hook as much as you will the atmosphere; the warm nostalgic feeling it invokes is undeniable. Similar to the feeling I have whilst listening to Boards of Canada, most specifically the hiss laden tracks of the elusive Old Tunes cassettes, there's an irresistible warmth of emotion coursing through the electronics. It's something best exemplified with Shine On, You Crazy White Cap, the lyrics 'let's drive to the coastline tonight' conjuring up images of long drives with young, beautiful friends on sun drenched evenings. It's brimming with a lust for life, and this comes through on practically every track. The opener and title track is awash with glimmering keys and syncopated beats which set the tone perfectly, whilst the driving rhythm and gauzy harmonies of Neon flickers with an incandescent lightness that exudes youthful exuberance.
Four More Years does suffer for it's lack of deviation though, and ultimately I think after the summer months have passed this isn't an album which I'll be digging out too often. Until next year at least, but there are a couple of great tracks and particularly given his rushed introduction to the spotlight there is a great deal of potential shown here. If Teen Daze can find enough distance from the 'chillwave' tag and backlash which will inevitably come with it, then there's undoubtedly a talented musician at work who may well create something which can outlive such hype.