Teen Daze performed a delicate, sleepy hometown set of sorts (he hails from Abbotsford) last night (March 1) at the Cobalt. But while he focused on ambience, the night's opening acts provided danceable, beat-oriented music.
First to perform was Vancouver duo, Preacher, who melded steady electronic beats with casually delivered spoken word. They got the audience in the mood to dance, as concertgoers slowly filled the room.
The second opener, Montreal's Mozart's Sister (aka Caila Thompson-Hannant, pictured above), also hails from Vancouver. During her set, she joked about being scared of the punks who would frequent the venue during her childhood. Despite a couple of technical difficulties, her enthusiasm and vocal prowess shone through, paired with incredible production that she triggered via sampler. Echoing Grimes and Björk, Thompson-Hannant invited the audience into her dynamic, expressive songs from recent release Field of Love.
Teen Daze, also known as Jamison Isaak, provided a different atmosphere from his openers, quietly taking to the stage with an electric guitar, sampler and synthesizer. His fragile vocals drifted above the sparse music, singing of the natural world; his latest album, Themes for Dying Earth, features tracks based on different aspects of the environment. The percussive elements of his set were minimal, which provided an odd contrast to the atmosphere his openers had created.
His carefully constructed together loops often played at a glacial pace, hypnotizing some members of the audience, but slightly alienating others. Hearing Themes for Dying Earth performed live was akin to experiencing a lullaby for the outdoors, pleasing yet drowsy. It would have been intriguing to hear Isaak play with a collaborator or two featured on the album, as he has said that, "inviting additional minds to the creative process brings out the best in me."
That being said, as a whole, Teen Daze's minimalist set made the evening an intimate, dreamy affair.