7am is usually alarm clock time. Harsh electronic beeping, or ear shredding ringing greeted with a groan, a reach for the snooze button, or a well aimed punch.
It doesn’t have to be this way of course. On those days when the alarm clock is redundant, and the bleary eyed dozer is roused from a slumber by simple force of habit, it’s possible to revisit the dreamworld that’s just been left behind before it disappears from the mind’s reach. Occasionally, it’s not just possible to revisit and start again with those wonderful dreamy fantasies, but to guide them with a barely conscious push in the right direction.
This is where Teengirl Fantasy comes in. Their eerie dream pop opens the door to those subconscious worlds at any time of the day and they are more than willing to act as guides through the constantly shifting, delicately shimmering vista that they create.
Teengirl Fantasy is duo Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss who have already made quite a name for themselves with their reworking of ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’, a scurrying beat scattered remodelling of the 70s classic. Most recently their single ‘Cheaters’ has caused something of a sensation on the internet, with its crafty sampling of The Love Committee’s ‘Cheaters Never Win’. Wrapping up the album with a lolloping groove and layers of washed interference obscuring the original source material, it is unlike everything that precedes it in that you can almost get a hook on what’s happening. It is also about as close to an all out dance track as 7am actually comes. That’s not to say that it stands out against the rest of the material entirely, the dense layering applied sees to that, but it serves as something of a wake up call at as the album nears its conclusion.
Rewind back to the start (or simply press play again), and ‘Vibes’ introduces the set with a swirling, glitchy welcome. The overriding feel is of being lost underwater with only a pair of scissors for company, and within seconds Teengirl Fantasy has drawn you back into their oblique woozy world.
‘In the Rain’ continues to apply the calming effect of water as it cascades beautifully in its opening seconds, before developing into chilled out house, not unlike the early Bjork material.
Despite its title, ‘Make the Move’ is actually a slow motion R&B workout, with its vocal hooks smoothed out into delicate coos drifting through a deluge of static and crackling drums. ‘Floor to the Floor’ continues in similar mood, like a soul all nighter in a hospital wing where morphine is the only available treatment.
Teengirl Fantasy then change tack slightly as they allow old school R&B and gospel to take the floor for the second half of the album. It’s still an almighty abstract affair, but the howling vocals of ‘Forever The Feeling’ inject a sense of urgency, puncturing its trance laden surroundings momentarily. ‘Dancing In Slow Motion’ meanwhile is a ghostly take on the last song of the night evoking the soft focus swaying emotional release to many a memory of the last minutes of a high school ball.
Kai Pond initially returns to the earlier ephemeral feel of the album, but quickly discovers an up-tempo beat to rival Cheaters.
With 7am, Teengirl Fantasy has created a soundtrack to the early hours that is inventive, compelling and curiously elusive.