Themes for Dying Earth

Teen Daze, aka Jamison Isaak, has a vision. In fact, he has something visual—unique photos he took and includes with copies of his newest album, Themes for Dying Earth. To bring the audio and visual together seems like a lofty endeavor, but the Canadian musician’s path from the start has been one of continually pushing his projects’ boundaries. While Isaak’s past sound has fallen more into the realm of chillwave with shoegaze textures, his newer work has begun to turn toward a more distinct pop approach, making those electronic tones into more tangible hooks and melodies. This album has Isaak with one foot in each place. There are still some long, ambient breathers like “Water in Heaven” and “Dream City,” but others like “Rising” and “Lost” have a clear road map, with vocal lines that ride on percussive pop grooves. The versatility of the album is amplified by several guest appearances, including Bon Iver’s S. Carey. It’s a lot all at once, but Isaak keeps it cohesive.