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Painting a landscape through sound

by Jessica Romera September 29, 2015
Painting a landscape through sound

Teen Daze talk about their latest record, touring and transitioning into adulthood

From Abbotsford, B.C. to San Francisco, California, Teen Daze winded down the west coast to record their latest album, Morning World.

Though they have been recording and creating music under this moniker since 2010, “this is the first iteration of this band,” said Jamison, the band’s frontman. The quintet, comprised of Simon Bridgefoot on drums—who co-produced the record—Jordan Kurtz on electric piano and synthesizer, David Wirsig on bass and harmonies and Kyle Reigle on guitar and keyboard, have been on tour promoting their latest work for several weeks and will be doing so for the next month.

In university, Jamison studied philosophy and theology, both of which heavily influencing his creative musical process; he took a few classes on music philosophy and spirituality. “I’m putting music and what I want to create through those lenses of ‘why am i doing this?’” he said. Though now in his late twenties and with his university years far behind him, Jamison found himself contemplating the age-old post-grad question of what he wanted to do next.

Many of the relationships he had cultivated with friends and family had altered or changed, and he found himself becoming cynical.

“You leave school and you realize how idealistic you had been about things,” Jamison said. “In a sense, this record was me trying to get some optimism back in my life.”

Recording to tape at the analog studio, Jamison says the album has a warmer feel to it, “like it came from the ‘70s.” With its dreamy, subdued melodies and psychedelic instrumentation, Morning World would have fit perfectly in the era where free love and optimism reigned supreme in the Golden Gate City.

As with most of the material recorded primarily in his home studio, Jamison attempts to create landscapes through his dreamy electronic sounds. “In a similar way with this record, where I was trying to play with ideas of imaginary landscapes and new geographies, I was really just trying to create a new place. I always wanted to make music that would pair well with a certain type of landscape, or a certain type of visual,” he said.

An ode to his home province, his last full-length album, Glacier, was “all about finding beauty in the barren sort of tundra, in a northern B.C. or Alaska type of landscape,” he said.

Though this creative process helped him get through a tougher, more existential period in his life, he realized that he “was essentially escaping from the real world,” adding that “music has always been that sort of escape for [him].”

“This record is a little bit on that same idea of creating a new landscape, of creating a new place for myself, but also in that experience realizing that, ‘Oh, there are real world issues that I need to deal with.’ I can’t just keep creating these new places for myself hoping that it will solve anything.”

Ready to tackle these new kinds of concerns and realities, like deciding what is going to be best for him, his wife and their future, Jamison says that “everything’s gotten a little bit more adult. There’s lots of really good things happening in my life right now. I’m in a very good place where I can stop and take stock of what’s around me.”

Wanting to share these positive vibes with the larger community, Teen Daze have just launched their Drip.com account. This subscription-based online platform allows musicians and artists to interact directly with their fans.

For the time being, the band will be releasing material exclusively accessible through this digital outlet, starting with the EP Rainwater Coffee.

On their page, Jamison posted a list of upcoming tour dates and asked fans in those towns to let him know if they were interested in coming out to a performance so he could put them on a guestlist and hang out with them at the show. In this way, the account makes the experience that much more personal.

“It’s tough to actually connect with people through [social media], but I’ve had amazing real-world interactions with people,” he said.

With roughly a month left of touring and a stop in Montreal later in October, Teen Daze is eager to come back and play in the city—Jamison performed at Divan Orange in 2013, but his set was plagued with technical snafus.

“It happens once or twice every tour, where everything inexplicably goes wrong … and that year it happened to be in Montreal,” he laughed.

“Montreal is one of our favourite cities; we always have a good time. Needles to say, we’re very excited to go back and hopefully prove ourselves.”

Teen Daze will be performing at Newspeak on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.

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