Single Review: Tei Shi – See Me

By on Thursday, 13th November 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

Valerie Teicher, better known under her atmospheric stage name Tei Shi, recently signed to Mermaid Avenue, an imprint of American label Mom + Pop Music. And we couldn’t be happier for the inventive Brooklyn via Colombia via Vancouver artist. Her second single for her new label home differs quite a bit from the first, the #1 Hype Machine-placing number ‘Bassically’, which features an insistent ’80s beat and handclap and whooshing flourishes. ‘See Me’ is a much more restrained affair and reveals a more straightforward and yet far more wistful style than seen on her ‘Saudade’ EP, released in 2013.

According to a chat she had with the folks at Dazed Digital, she had one singular goal in writing this song: “I want the song to sound like fishies swimming up a stream made of chocolate mousse.” While that doesn’t sound very palatable, the results are stunningly beautiful. The track was coproduced by Teicher, long-time friend, collaborator and producer Gianluca Buccellati and Dave Bayley, with whom she teamed up with to write and record the Glass Animals‘Gooey’ EP track ‘Holiest’. She wowed the DC crowd in July with her talent when she supported Bayley’s band at U Street Music Hall in July.

Teicher’s vocals on this new single are airy and allowed to breathe, which was a smart choice to highlight her gorgeous voice. It’s as if the double-backed vocal line is floating and flying high in the sky like a bird, weaving a beautiful pattern among and in between the other parts of this song. These background elements – varying from mechanical creaks and clanking, mouth clicks, synths and light percussion – are never heavy-handed, complementing the vocal treatment well. The last minute of the song goes entirely instrumental, as animal noises, synths and beats are filtered and fogged to create an appropriately chill outro.

Then there are the lyrics themselves, which linger and recall memories like the cologne of an ex. Is it a breathy admittance to self-consciousness to a lover? Is a Dear Jane letter saying goodbye to a toxic relationship? Or maybe a combination of both? Whichever it is, it’s evident the protagonist can look to her lover and see his shortcomings: “you never look at your surroundings / you only think how they might change / but I’ll be like the trees / and I’ll grow while no one’s watching / and I unravel your mistakes”. More importantly, she wants to be seen for who she truly is. In that respect, the song does a perfect job of presenting Tei Shi’s stellar, near heavenly voice, and I hope this will be the single that brings her the fame she deserves.

9/10

‘See Me’, Tei Shi’s latest single, is out now on Double Denim Records.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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