Crate-Digging Quick Takes: Teen Daze – Beach Dreams

I have a completely-filled 120 GB iPod classic, the record crate of the digital age, containing my entire music library. I’m listening to each release in alphabetical order by record title – kind of a virtual archaeological dig. These are my findings.

(self released, 2010)

It’s February. God. I can’t think of a more depressing time of year. OK, maybe January. That’s worse. But February’s pretty bad – cold, dark, gloomy – that about sums it up. And days like today, when the temperature tiptoes up into the high 50s, are merely teases that spring’s still several weeks away, and that we’ll be freezing again soon enough.

You think February phases Teen Daze? Please. Teen Daze is all like “February? What’s all that noise? Whatev, bro, I’m out. Beach time.”

I can’t guarantee you Teen Daze sounds nothing like that. (I can guarantee you Wavves’ Nathan Williams does. I don’t like Wavves.) I can tell you that Teen Daze is the pseudonym of a pretty mysterious dude from Vancouver, a producer if you will, although Beach Dreams plays like a nice little washed-out photograph of a pop EP – sounds like a full band, this one-man show. He’s got a few high-profile remixes under his belt – Yeasayer, Toro Y Moi, and Local Natives among them – but thrives here in sparkling outdoor guitar and synth excursions. And unlike a lot of the chillwave set, he’s got some real percussion on here! And it sounds great, daddy-o.

The vibe sways tropically throughout, making me wish that Pennsylvania wasn’t such an ominous place to be in the winter. And the song titles themselves promise absolute bliss – “Let’s Fall Asleep Together” features strummed guitar and piano, vocal melodies for miles, and is perfect sunset fodder for you and your sweetheart. “Water” shimmers like sunlight through clear blue, culminating in the repeated line “I love the water” – couldn’t have said it better myself. “Cliff Jump Love Song” gallops along at a thrilling pace, underscoring the excitement of the titular physical act as well as the promise of a fresh relationship. And “Beach Dreams” – really, “Beach Dreams”? Teen Daze, you really want me to get over my cabin fever, right? Then why taunt me with the perfect song to complement such a relaxing title? Damn you. You wonderful man.

This column’s going to publish February 28, the day before March issues in the promise of warmer days. I will play this album that day, and hope it’s sunny. I need the vitamin D, and if I can’t get it from the sky, then I’ll get it through my earbuds. Try it out for yourself.

RIYL: Washed Out (see what I did up there?), Best Coast, COOLRUNNINGS


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