Album Review: Teen Daze – Morning World

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Teen Daze’s bedroom recorded electronic dream pop that was heard in his debut All of Us, Together proved to remain in it’s own strange world, and with time, it seems that it’s better that way. His particular take on the chillwave genre is one that strives to briefly make you feel something in the least complex way possible before dissipating with reckless abandon, and as a result, his sound has evolved accordingly. In his new album Morning World, Teen Daze leaves behind that sort of sun-bleached, digital atmosphere and instead attempts nostalgia in a new complex way that evokes something a little deeper.

While the vocals on Morning World aren’t exactly something to write home about, it’s the instrumentals that take center stage throughout the album. They’re the same, quintessential instrumentals that are found in chillwave and dream pop – peppy guitar strums, layered synth, and unashamed simple drumming – and most of the time, it works. Tracks like “Along” and “You Said” seem to have this style embedded within them as well as a jazzy beat, and as a result, are the standout tracks of the album. At this point, one starts to wonder if this is what they really want to soothe their nostalgic induced wounds, and unfortunately, the risk in wanting to secure that sort of outcome is where Morning World takes a dive. The inclusion of orchestral instrumentals, like the cello in opener “Valley of Gardens,” only seem to distract from the real emotions present, despite their gorgeous, alluring sound. Filler tracks like “Life in the Sea” are simple little jaunts, but fail on giving the listener something substantial to latch onto. However, there’s depth in those tracks that want it, and their specificity and expertise in delivering those feelings definitely succeed. Title track “Morning World” is actually one of the best on the album, because while it’s simple, it doesn’t aggressively want to be so. It sort of grooves and moves along on it’s own accord and carefully smooths itself out when there’s a snag. Again, Teen Daze’s vocals aren’t the most impressive, but it only plays up the intense skill that he shows when not fiddling around with digital loops and riffs. At its core, Morning World succeeds in being a fine example of a rural, simple collection of songs that pull at heartstrings, but in a way that wont make them fray and break apart.

Morning World will be released on August 14th. The full album is now streaming on NPR’s website, so go check it out!

7.0/10

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photo courtesy of artist
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