Spring is a primer. It’s a time of year that feels less like a transition and more like a reawakening — a gradual reintroduction to a verdant season where we can once again retreat into long days and landscapes humming with life.
Considering those days are currently stone-dead and buried beneath mounds of slush and snow, it’s crucial to have music that pulls us out of the present. Enter Abbotsford’s Jamison Isaak, who makes music under the moniker Teen Daze. Isaak’s output over the last few years is brimming with excellent examples of how to induce feelings of serenity, relaxation and longing with instrumentals. 2017’s Themes for a New Earth is a collage of hazy memories and dynamic soundscapes that can draw you in with their melodic richness before compelling you to drift away aimlessly.
Isaak’s new songs, “Spring” and “Hidden Worlds”, largely abide by the same methodology heard on Themes for a New Earth, but the results are even more compelling. They are both off Teen Daze’s upcoming LP Bioluminescence, which is out April 26th, right around the time when winter hopefully recedes for the year. In this way, “Spring” fittingly feels like a primer in its own right. Its status as a single and its deceptively simple composition make the song feel like an introduction to something much grander. Like the spring melt, it hits you gradually, establishing the foundational conditions for the main event still to come. Isaak layers real instruments, electronic samples and natural sounds, but “Spring” never feels overly busy. It only ever hints at the complexity of its underlying mechanics.
On the flip side “Hidden Worlds” shows Isaak operating at full capacity. Influenced by a trip through Spain and Portugal, Balearic rhythms and melodies transport the listener at every turn. It’s a hypnotic, endlessly satisfying track where organic and electronic sounds swirl around and build off of each other. The composition is propulsive, held down by a core rhythm that grows more complex as it moves forward. Isaak builds layers and adds elements in a way that rewards repeated, considered listening, but he never obscures or shies away from the song’s initial draw: escape — to places real or fictional, or to times when our small worlds are full and in bloom. If “Spring” is the sound of the world coming back to life, then “Hidden Worlds” is the sound of bodies fully alive, revelling once again in the heat and the colour.