Album Review | Teen Daze – Themes for Dying Earth

/ FLORA / SOUNDS GOOD /

Teen Daze returns with fifth album Themes for Dying Earth. Having been around since 2010, this on-going project of Jamison Isaak has displayed a steady growth throughout. Gone are the days of exclaiming “it’s not a phase, Mum!” and in comes a state of self-discovery, as this new record details all the anxieties and fear that comes with finally figuring out who you really are.

Looking over the discography of Teen Daze it’s clear that Isaak’s not afraid to shift the overall sound of the project for a particular album. 2015’s Morning World brought an upbeat, indie-pop vibe that shone nicely against the warm backdrop of it’s cover, melting away the cold exteriors of 2013’s Glacier. Themes for Dying Earth seems to showcase the end of the day as the sun begins to descend, projecting a sound that retains a lot of sunshine goodness while overarching a steady dwindle into midnight.

The likes of “Dream City” and “Water in Heaven” usher in the clouds as swooping synthesisers deliver a flurry of expansive sounds, adding calmness to the airwaves to signify the final few hours of the day. Breathy vocals meander amongst the layers to cement this shoegaze-y direction towards the end of the record, but the general Miami Horror-esque tone of it all allows it to remain somewhat upbeat and poppy.

While a lot of Themes for Dying Earth wilts to a close, there are a couple sparks that shine amongst the wishy-washy atmosphere. “Lost” sees a foundation of Pop formed as solid drum beats are allowed to crash against a flurry of delicate synth beats, while the collaboration of Isaak and guest Nadia Hulett produces the male/female vocal dynamic that slips into the sound perfectly.

Themes for Dying Earth mainly offers instrumentals that celebrate the stillness of life, the joy of a calm mind, but it does so in a way that keeps things light, upbeat and jovial throughout. It’s a record that’s self-assured and confident in it’s ability to deliver something great, making the whole “self-discovery” process worth it. Teen Daze have done a solid job at sprinkling the setlist with the odd Pop hit that allows accessibility to seep through onto the rest of the record, and the overall result is very pleasing.

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