On Teen Daze’s refreshing sensibility
Teen Daze’s sixth ambient, alternative-indie album Bioluminescence stays true to his roots in synthesizing frequencies from both the natural and modern worlds. Ever since Teen Daze, one of Jamison Isaak’s aliases, debuted in 2010, the solo electronic British Columbia musician continues to challenge the antithetical natures of organic and electronic notes in Bioluminescence, released in April 2019. The album title, Bioluminescence, refers to the biochemical phenomena of underwater microorganisms’ ability to produce and emit light. Isaak channels this natural phenomenon in his eight-track album, conveying an atmospheric vibe of evening drives under street lamps or the dream-like state of watching a jellyfish float in complete darkness. In his tweets, Isaak admits to drawing inspiration from scenic photos of trees, floras, skylines and even photos of architectural interiors he either found online or he encountered during his run. Living in such a fast-paced world, Isaak’s creativity impels a sense of intimacy by blurring the line between modernity and nature.
Teen Daze often begins with a duophonic synth, featuring electronic melody simultaneously co-existing with the rich oceanic recordings he gathered from his travels. Isaak washes off the listeners’ preconceived notions of what ambient music should be by demonstrating what it can be in the album’s first two tracks “Near” and “Spring.” The beginning album track, “Near,” invites listeners to the calming loop of sea wave sounds, while “Spring” illustrates how one can sway through the vivid tempo of the ocean shore. In the album track “Ocean Floor,” Isaak further plunges his listeners to an uncontrollable head-nodding response. Most listeners, willingly or not, end up following their urge to dance along Bioluminescence’s other millennial alternative/indie track, “Hidden Worlds.”
Jamison Isaak’s artistic sensibility is greatly emphasized in Bioluminescence, allowing it to differ from his previous albums like A Silent Planet and Themes for a New Earth. The tracks “An Ocean of the Moon” and “Drifts” illustrate the resonance of Teen Daze’s water-drop like nostalgic notes. The tracks invite listeners to an introspective appreciation of the calming, ripple effect of water forms. Whereas, “Longing” and “Endless Light” subtly reveal Isaak’s sensitive side, engulfing his listeners to the insomniac feeling of yearning. Perhaps the longing could only be fulfilled if the listeners choose to, once again, revisit “Near,” the first track of Teen Daze’s Bioluminescence album. Isaak’s authenticity as a musician manifests in his sensibility.