Album Review: Teen Daze – Beach Dreams EP


Whether you call it Chill-wave, Beach Rock, or Surf Music, the influence of The Beach Boys continues to play a huge role in the world of Indie Rock. Not only do present day musicians have an incredible reverence for the tight harmonies and nostalgic feel of the era when The Beach Boys ruled the charts, Brian Wilson continues to provide a point of inspiration, as evidenced in his critically lauded 2004 album, Smile. In the time of a double-dip recession, government bailouts, global terrorism, and now the WikiLeaks meltdown, who can blame musicians for wanting to encapsulate a hazy and warm day at the beach into a four-minute pop song?

Teen Daze has done just that on his latest EP, Beach Dreams. A short collection of just four songs, spanning nearly 15 minutes in length, the Vancouver artist works to transport the listener out of his chilly December environment, making us long for the warm days of Summers past. The good news is that Teen Daze excels in creating this warm, sunny world—the bad news is that they don’t do it in a consistently interesting fashion.

Opening track “Let’s Fall Asleep Together” gets the album off to an animated start, using plenty of drums and bass to get the rhythm moving at an energetic speed. Vocal harmonies float above the motor, much like a surfer already in motion as they first come into view. The lyrics are precious, as the lead singer gently sings, “The sun was set in the sky, a fragment, a piece of a memory that you used to think about me.” A sense of nostalgia is woven right into the song itself; even as these characters are lying in the sun, their thoughts are turned to the past as well.

Unfortunately, the rest of the EP doesn’t always match the magic of the propulsive opening track. “Water” essentially captures the same rhythm as “Let’s Fall Asleep Together,” but the lyrics and harmonies above don’t have the same sense of sincerity involved. The amount of reverb applied to the vocals makes the fragmentary lyrics just that much harder to understand. “Cliff Jump Love Song” tries to resuscitate the energy, making more use of bright guitars and percussion. It’s a great effect, leaving the listener hoping there is a dance floor located somewhere close on the boardwalk. The closing title track does little to keep this momentum moving for the last minutes of the EP, once again using more languid and hazy material, which comes across with a certain level of sweetness, but without energetic interest.

Teen Daze is at his best when writing up-tempo numbers and these songs certainly make for the best use of points of inspiration he culled from the 1960s California rock scene. For only his second release, this artist is moving in the right direction, and growing as a songwriter. Only future music will be able to show whether or not Teen Daze can stand alongside groups like The Drums or The Shins when it comes to recreating the beach, even in the dead of winter.

Advertisements

Surfer Blood Covers The Beach Boys


Starting to spread around the internet like a wild fire, Surfer Blood, one of the biggest buzz bands in Indie since The Strokes, has just released their first ever demo.

Originally posted on NME’s The Daily Download, the band did a cover of The Beach Boys “Don’t Worry Baby.” Surfer Blood puts a lo-fi spin on it and singer J.P. Pitts voice is heavenly, just like the original. Though the background vocals are a little distance, it’s exciting to hear the band in their earliest stage. This is definetly a must listen, even if you are the slightest bit curious. Surfer Blood really does the song justice.

Surfer Blood’s debut album Astrocoast was released on Kanine Records earlier this year.

Stream and Download the track below
Surfer Blood – “Dont Worry Baby” (Beach Boys Cover) by modernmysteryblog

Interview: A Little Bit with Elmor

Indie Brit band Elmor is a band you should love. The boys of Elmor intertwine delighful pop vocals with driving insturmentation to produce fun, “dance-y” and romantically charged rock n’ roll. I had the pleasure of interviewing the group before they embarked from England to LA to tour. Unfortunately this interview took place via Facebook chat due to the band’s location across the pond, but imagining the boys saying everything in a British accent made up for it.

Liv: Where’d you get your name?  I’m sure you know there’s an Elmore band and an Elmore D Band?

Andy: It’s our lead singer Luke’s mother’s maiden name (she’s Scottish) and a street he used to live on. Elmore band…? There’s one in London but we’re bigger than them so doesn’t matter! Although myself and Rich here are big jazz fans and love Elmore James [of the Elmore D Band]! Don’t forget we’re Elmor though!

Liv: How did the band form? Where are you all from?

Andy: Luke and I have been mates for about five years. After living in Vancouver I moved back here [London] and hooked up with him for some drinks. Luke said he had written some songs and wanted to get a band together. We started with a five piece line-up then. However things weren’t working and our original guitarist had to be fired after a year, so Tristan joined who we knew from the muso circle around here! We went through three other drummers before getting Richard who we found on the net….so 21st century!!

 Liv: What is muso?

 Andy: People in England who are musicians basically…! But it’s like more of a cool term for rockers.

 Liv: Ah, I like!

Andy: As a band we all have different influences though and so the sound we have is different than what it was when we began. The songs we did when it started three years ago? We don’t play any of them now!

 Liv: Describe Elmor’s sound to someone who has never heard your music before

Andy: Melodic rock; energetic rock sound with a commercial vibe…hang on we once had a review from a national paper which describes us well: “A face-off between the west coast of America indebted soaring melodies of the Thrills and the day-glo pop of the hirsute Magic Numbers, with a dash of stadium rock U2 and even industrial Editors-esque riffs” THE FLY “A lot of scope and expansiveness to the music, a certain kind of wind-swept romanticism” THE INDEPENDENT ”

Liv: If you weren’t in the band, what would you be doing?

Andy: Working in the industry; I’d probably go into management. I was doing that before the band. Luke would probably carry on – writing, doing solo stuff – and start a gardening business.

John: I’d be song writing and producing.

 Richard: Playing drums?! Typical drummer! Playing jazz though…

Liv: I’m glad you all would still be doing music stuff!! That’s refreshing.

Andy: The thing is we’ve never discuss that! We are part of the project and team and we don’t consider anything else.

Liv: What’s the song writing process? Song writing inspirations? Lyrical inspiration? Do you ever find it difficult to write a song?

Andy: When we wrote our current single it happened within an hour. Other songs have taken weeks! Sometimes the lyrics and melody are written first, sometimes another part is the basis. The songs can take weeks to tailor. “The Wedding Song” – which you won’t have heard; that shall be our next single – took about two months to get it how we wanted. Luke uses a lot of influences in his life for inspiration.

Liv: Yes, writing about what you know is always good! Do you have a favorite song to perform?

 Andy: A track called “Use It”. This was originally called “Everything and Everyone” but we’ve changed the latter to the album name. Because it’s the first song we wrote we wanted to incorporate it into the album title. John’s and Luke’s favorite is “One Step”

Richard: “Seven Years”

 Tristan: “Little Bit”

 Liv: Why these songs?

Andy: They are all different. Each one has its own elements. How we play them physically is different too. We get a different reaction to each one. I think our main basis is every song should be unique but encompassing our signature sound! There are too many bands – especially in this country – who have an album of “samey” songs…..also bands we’ve met touring. But then there are a couple who are special…

Liv: Like you?

Andy: We have been told we are! Haha!

 Liv: What song do you wish you had written?

Andy: “Be my baby”, The Ronettes. “Don’t Worry Baby”, The Beach Boys. Uum………. I know Luke would say Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”. For me: every album Muse has done!

Liv: Me too! I love Muse. Have you seen them live?

Andy: yeah last year!

Liv: Their keyboard player is fucking incredible.

Andy: Such a massive inspiration for me…

Liv: What’s your favorite thing about being on tour?

Andy: Making bets on how long it takes for Richard to fall asleep on the dance floor when we’re out! Oh, and tickling Tristan. He hates it!

Liv: Couldn’t you tickle him anytime?

Andy: Yes, but in a vehicle, he can’t escape! Meeting other bands is always fun. We come away from a tour having met loads of lovely people. Of course there are the obvious perks like trying different venues and crowds. England even though it’s small to you, you go an hour away and people/accents can be very different!

Listen to Elmor on their MYSPACE

Antiqcool is the New Cool

I have decided that Antiqcool is the new cool. That sounds like quite a play on words, doesn’t it? Antiqcool is a band from the U.K. that is likely to be a buzz band over here in the States in 2009. There is something very beautiful about their music that reminds me of  a mixture of Elliot Smith with a touch of The Beach Boys. I’m not sure if a combination can get any better than that.

Antiqcool has recently released their newest record ‘Digging for Gold’ which is undoubtably a masterpiece. One of my favorite tracks off the record is titled ‘Already Late’. It just sends chills down my spine.

Download ‘Already Late’

Check out Antiqcool on their Myspace