Feature: Teen Daze’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

Yesterday we had Vulpes and Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls, The Babies) contribute year-end lists to The Photon God. Today’s second list comes from our friend to the north, Vancouver’s ever-so-mysterious electronica artist, Teen Daze. He was kind enough to contribute a list of his

Top Ten Albums Of The Year!

10. Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiBefore TodayTD: There were a lot of records that I really loved this year that didn’t get listed, but I wanted to give Before Today a spot, simply because “Round and Round” is my favourite song of the year. It’s just so perfect. This record is really amazing, and it’s hard as it is to try and rank all my favourite music of the year. So don’t let my giving this the 10 spot make you think I think any less of it.

9. Twin SisterColor Your LifeTD: I dream of making an EP like this one some day. I first heard Twin Sister when I saw a live clip of them playing “All Around and Away We Go” and “Something About Us” (a Daft Punk cover) on a rooftop. The city lights below and the dim Christmas lights around them, the band completely melted me. This is another record that has grown on me more and more, which is an amazing fact considering an EP is usually a pretty digestible, easy-to-comprehend medium. I think that just shows that Twin Sister are capable of creating some really beautiful, in-depth music, and I’m so stoked to see what they come up with in the next year.

8. BathsCeruleanTD: My BOY! Will and I emailed a bit over the summer (mostly his returning thanks for my gushing over his record and live show), and I’ve had the pleasure of playing two shows with him this year. After seeing his Yours Truly session on Pitchfork.tv, I was sure that this guy couldn’t be for real. I remember seeing the clip for “Apologetic Shoulder Blades” and honestly thinking, “What on earth is he doing to that AKAI unit?” Will, like Chaz from Toro Y Moi, is another production and songwriting wunderkind. To be so young, and possess the talent to craft such exceptional beats is truly a gift. And then, there’s his live show. Aside from GOBBLE GOBBLE (who I saw 16 times this year), Will’s shows were my favourite of this last year. The guy is SO committed to his set; his passion for playing music is uncontainable, and he shows that he is completely connected to the music he makes. Which leads us to the record, which is a great example of all of these great attributes that Will possesses; huge beats, perfect samples and Will’s signature voice meld together to make the best beat-hop record of the year, hands down.

7. Local NativesGorilla ManorTD: This was one record, amongst many, that my girlfriend and I really agreed on. We tend to have pretty similar tastes, mine maybe going a bit into the weirder territory, and this one solidified it. Whenever we needed a record to listen to in the car, this one never failed. Like the Deerhunter record, this one was a grower on me; at first I didn’t get what the fuss was all about. But the more and more I listened, the more I heard the amazing songwriting that exists on this record. I mean, a song like “Airplanes” alone. Again, another band who’s live show completely justifies the praise these guys have been garnering.

6. CaribouSwimTD: This was my summer jam. I listened to this record EVERY time I drove to the beach. LITERALLY. “Kaili”, most definitely my favourite track on the record, took me to places that I never thought dance music could. I mean, he never even drops a beat in it, and it still manages to make me move every time I hear it. Seeing Caribou play on the main stage at Sasquatch this summer topped it all off too. Dan Snaith and his band are complete showmen, and they killed the new songs live. An amazing follow-up record to an already amazing career.

5. Toro Y MoiCausers Of ThisTD: This was [the] one that everyone knew was going to be a game-changer. Where Washed Out presented the idea of the nostalgic, sample-based, reverb-drenched genre that has so lovingly/sarcastically been coined “chillwave”, Chaz took it to the next level. In a matter of words, he raised the bar. When people look back in 20 years, this record should, and most likely will, stand as the perfect “chillwave” record. Like [My Bloody Valentine’s] Loveless to shoegaze. The wonderful part about this record is the production value; Chaz isn’t some bored suburb-dweller, trying to make “chillwave beats” to impress girls (well, who knows, maybe he is). This kid has SERIOUS production talent, an amazing singing voice, and really, an incredibly talented ear for melody and arrangement. I can’t wait to see what Underneath The Pine does to not only the whole “chillwave” scene, but the electronic music scene in general.

4. Magic KidsMemphisTD: Without a doubt, the most positive, encouraging, mood-changing record of the year. “Superball” was the first track I heard, and honestly since hearing it, I haven’t been able to stop listening to this record. Magic Kids’ lead singer [Bennett Foster] can sing. Like, REALLY sing. The arrangements on this record are spot on, and the youthful, vibrant energy spills out of it.

3. DeerhunterHalcyon DigestTD: On my most recent tour (early October), my friends and I listened to this record for the first time. We were all a little underwhelmed to be honest. The quote that stuck out for me was made by my friend Brendan. “The thing that’s so great about Deerhunter is that every record they make breaks some new ground, and this one feels a bit like it’s treading in old waters.” I agreed, for the time being. But the more I dug into it, the more it completely destroyed my expectations. This is the problem with coming at music with a critical mindset (or anything in life for that matter): when you come at it with expectations, you’re more than likely to be disappointed. Anyways, I really came to love this record in the last month. I think I’ve listened to “Desire Lines” more than any song this year. A very subtle step forward for this already powerful, triumphant band.

2. Beach HouseTeen DreamTD: In January, I knew there would be two records that would undoubtedly make my end-of-the-year list: Toro Y Moi’s Causers Of This (which got the fifth spot), and Teen Dream. This was the record I had been waiting for from Beach House. Though their self-titled[album] and Devotion had received permanent spots on my “fall asleep” mix, they had never really broken through for me. But Teen Dream completely blew me away. The fluidity of the whole record is astounding. Rarely would I, or any of my friends for that matter, ever put this record on and NOT finish it. This is one to be savoured; you can’t fast forward to “Take Care” and expect it to be as devastating as it would be if you would go through the labour of love that is experiencing the record in full.

1. Candy ClawsHidden LandsTD: An inspiring journey through the quiet creation of all things natural. Candy Claws construct a world of wonder, mystery, melody and harmony; these themes weave through ten songs in the most peculiar ways. The range of emotions that I experience when I listen to this record is almost overwhelming; confusion, comfort, alienation, acceptance. The organic creation of this dream state is what really draws me in. This record is a testament to anyone who loves “found sounds”. I can’t explain away the sounds I hear on this record, and that is why I love it. Every time I listen to it, I hear something new, and experience it in a different way.

Honourable Mentions:

The Morning BendersBig Echo
S. CareyAll We Grow
JBMNot Even In July
Twin ShadowForget
Sufjan StevensThe Age Of Adz
Aidan KnightVersicolour
Beach FossilsSelf-titled
Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Wild NothingGemini

Teen Daze’s new EP, Beach Dreams, is available for purchase/download here.



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