Teen Daze - Themes For Dying Earth
Themes For Dying Earth
Jamison Isaak is continuing down the path he set for himself with 2015's Morning World. Isaak was shifting out of dance music, into a more gentle ambient perhaps even folksy sound. He always managed to keep an electronic base, but crafter sweet lyrics about trying to fine one's self. Themes For Dying Earth is a bit different as it copes with anxiety through soft synths and a delicate touch. Music that feels personal is often sparse, just a guitar and vocals, but Teen Daze is able to create these really varied tracks that also feel incredibly connected. There is a texture that you find throughout this record that is absolutely incredible. "Dream City" has no lyrics and "Becoming" is also quite vocally sparse, but then "Lost" comes on featuring Nadia Hulett and is this bright beautiful song about not wanting to fade away with time. When you think of the Indie Rock explosion and how it could have continued you think about albums like this that still manage to keep that Indie heart but bring in so many elements from other genres to elevate and explore. It's almost like it took an outsider to really crack that code as Isaak has done. "Cherry Blossoms" is incredibly intricate song that just builds layer after layer of sound, starting almost 8-bit-esque but then flowering into this sparkly song that sounds like almost like Pink Floyd in it's scope. Song structure plays a key role on this record as well some being longer and shorter in order to blend into the next track. This is not just a record of singles, this album means something real.
The synths are really pushed more forward on this record, but they are used to create an almost indie sound, it's pretty great. The one band you really see the most of here though is The Postal Service, it almost feels like that amazing follow up record they should have come out with but never did. "First Rain" even though it features real rain pouring in the background just completely sucks you into that rainy day vibe. "Rising" is the first kind of dance track that we get, but it has an excellent beat and shows some of Isaak's more House-ish talents. Yet it still has a story, guitars and never simply relies on being a dance song, it's just a happy accident I guess. The closing piano on "Rising" is taken straight from the 80s, but then cuts out to let an acoustic guitar finish the job, it is simply mastery. There is not a moment of this record that feels out of place or unnecessary and even the longer songs which are well over five minutes feel just right. Teen Daze even somehow make the slide guitar cool on "Anew". However Themes For Dying Earth is about more than just that, it is about always moving forward even if that means moving away from the crowds. This record is about being self-reliant but realizing how much you need everyone else. What an experience, what a great fucking record, don't sleep.
9.0 out of 10