Teen Daze - A World Away - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Teen Daze - A World Away

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2015-01-22

As the title implies on Canadian producer Jamison's latest EP as Teen Daze, A World Away is a transportive experience. It may not be completely earth-shattering in its ability to shake your current state of being, but it works nicely to get you out of your head even if it's only for a little while.

Dynamically, big things don't occur throughout the EP's short length. With this kind of instrumental, synth-driven music, a balance needs to be struck between repetitive and interesting, otherwise it moves into purely atmospheric territory without any sort of drive. Jamison keeps the scale tipped toward the latter, though, giving most of the tracks just enough life to avoid becoming strictly filler.

'Sun Burst' leads the EP. It's fresh with possibility and the promise something good is about to start. It's positivity personified, with a synth-line that feels warmed by the sun's rays just as it rises over the horizon.

Things pick up on 'Another NIght', an easy dance number that could make you move just as readily as it could hypnotize you to one spot. 'Reykjavik' follows, and both tracks work perfectly next to each other as they share a similar contemplative atmosphere.

While the former has a more straightforward structure, the latter opens up to reveal a space that's all encompassing. The opening piano meets a complimentary beat before soft, clapping sounds take over. It's one of the more layered moments and it provides a solid mood that you can grab hold of with both hands.

'Than' is infused with a strong sense of direction. It could be video game theme music or a journey through space with its ripples that shoot out, retract, and shoot again. As this effect slowly fades, the meat of the song begins to appear with a catchy dance groove and bursts of synths that border on cheeziness but never quite cross over.

Where A World Away meets its slump is with 'Desert'. The circular layering is uncomfortable, and instead of being a dizzy experience that translates to fun, it sounds confused. There's too much of a build-up from the start with no final delivery or resolution. It meanders and swirls, but all that's left is stagnation.

Redemption follows, though, as 'I Feel God in the Water' works perfectly as the closer. This is a divine relaxation, whether you're in a body of water or just laying on the couch. A hushed calm pervades every second, as the culmination of its four-minute running time turns into a fuzzy, warm hug.

Ambient music tends to be something one either likes or dislikes. Often, it's dismissed as just background noise. In some cases that might be true, but if you take a moment to notice it you might be pleasantly surprised, as is the case with A World Away.

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