“The Inner Mansions” by Teen Daze

November 20. 2012 | By Sean Morris

Teen Daze
The Inner Mansions
[Lefse]

Sleep-tronica, known these days as chillwave, is a double-edged sword (or feather). The sub-genre’s effectiveness lies in its ability to lull listeners to sleep, which means the better the music, the less likely it is to be heard while conscious. Canadian producer Jamison, known these days as Teen Daze, creates pleasant dreamscapes on The Inner Mansions. Most of them are found in the first half, as if the artist is fully aware that his audience will not be awake in twenty minutes.

“New Life” is a gorgeous mixture of soft rock and trip-hop, Bee Gee-esque falsetto blanketing acrobatic yet muted drum pads. Gentleness permeates the deep house thump of “Divided Loyalties” and “Discipleship.” The latter is a glorious seven minutes of shimmer, perfect for both driving home and snuggling. Frankie Rose shows up on “Union,” as does a jolt of distortion. As a standalone single it works, but in the context of the rest of the album, the ’80s pandering is incongruous. After this, ambience trumps rhythm (“Garden 2,” “The Heart of God”) and we’re treated to more false endings than The Return of the King. But only our subconsciousness was meant to hear those songs anyway.

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