Riding high upon the success of his debut full-length All of Us, Together, Vancouver’s Teen Daze is touring the United States and Canada right now. Coming up this weekend, though, is a dreaded Sunday night show on July 8. Even if it’s at the Drake Hotel in Toronto, any artist will tell you that such an end-of-the-weekend gig can really go either way. Teen Daze is no exception.
“Any time I play a Sunday night show, it’s normally a bit of a smaller crowd,” he says over the phone, while on the road. “People are a little bit tired from a weekend of partying or hanging out. Normally the set sort of adapts to it. Like tonight, it’s a Thursday in New York, it’s gonna be an upbeat set with more dance songs but, if I need to, I’m able to pull something out that’s a little slower and space-ier. Maybe something that won’t necessarily get people out on the floor, but people can at least nod their heads and relax a little bit.”
If anyone has an arsenal of songs for just such an occasion, it has to be Teen Daze. He’s made his name with his dynamic work in electronic music and All of Us, Together, which was released in May, possesses a particularly eclectic vibe. Describing it as "moody" makes it sound sullen, which it isn’t, but it does occasionally feed into that intangible mood and transitional mindset that makes a Sunday night stick out from the rest of the week.
“It’s something that I’ve dealt with right from the very start,” Teen Daze agrees. “A lot of the stuff I’m making isn’t geared towards those big, full-out club nights. It walks the line between the ambient electronic music of Boards of Canada or any headphone, down-tempo artists, but with more four-on-the-floor dance beats. I’ve come to a place where I can look at the situation and be like, ‘OK, people obviously wanna dance at this show, so that’s what I’ll give them.’ Or maybe it’ll be like a Sunday night vibe and I can play something more chilled out so I’m not just blaring dance music all the time.”
From the title on down, the latest Teen Daze record is a call for community, a plea for people to find a pleasant meeting place over music.
“The scene where a lot of my peers and contemporaries are located is this internet world where everything is so individual, Teen Daze details. "For the most part, browsing the internet or social networking is a very independent experience. It’s you, by yourself, sitting at a computer making music or emailing or whatever. I’ve found that some of my favourite experiences that have happened because of music are always when that gets translated into real life. I really wanted to do something to encourage that.”
If it sounds like a hokey call for connection, Teen Daze is liable to make you a believer. Based on his own experience, he knows there’s more to life than sitting alone, lost in music between headphones, and that the ritual of a live show is important, now more than ever. That said, with All of Us, Together, he’s attempted to make a record that can serve as a conversation piece about the greatness of Caribou or Born Gold or heck, even Teen Daze.
“At SXSW or CMJ, the music has brought me there and I’m thankful to play the shows, but a huge part of it is meeting all of these people after spending so much time online emailing them or reading their blogs about music,” he explains. “Those festivals become an opportunity to talk to those people about stuff happening online and the dynamics of this digital music scene. So yeah, I thought, ‘What if I can encourage people to take this record as something that can be shared and listened to together,’ and basically look outside their windows. It’s ironic because it wasn’t the most collaborative experience making it but it was based on this idea, with live music especially, where everyone is at a show for the same purpose and feeling this same feeling. It’s something we take for granted I think.”
See Teen Daze with Beat Connection and White Arrows at Il Motore in Montreal on July 7, the Drake Hotel in Toronto on July 8 and beyond.
Must listen: Teen Daze returns with new synthy dance track
New Releases from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Matthew Barber, Snailhouse, Teen Daze & more!
Teen Daze says electronic music can appeal to everyone
Teen Daze, All Of Us, Together [Streaming Featured Album]
on Jul 06, 2012