by Andrew Garrison
We got a taste of Brooklyn’s Valerie Teicher, better known as Tei Shi‘s airy and powerful vocals this summer with her debut single “M&Ms”, which official video released last month is as mystifying and alluring as the song itself. Since the first time I heard “M&Ms” I was anxiously awaiting more, which we got this week in her six piece project titled Saudade. The results are everything that I could of hoped for and more
The real key to Tei Shi’s debut EP is that less is more. She is a remarkably talented vocalist and she does not allow her strength get overshadowed by heavy production, or quite frankly, the use of instruments. Every sound that accompanies her vocals is done so very deliberately. For instance, on “Nevermind the End” we get a strong, subtly electronic, synthy, dance beat that drives the tempo of the song. Or on “Adder(f)all”, (which is probably my favorite of the six songs she graced us with) the use of maracas are done so in a way that accents the depth and spaciousness of her voice. Her wispy, yet incredibly powerful vocals has a way of filling the room, entrenching the listener in her unique, dreamlike sound.
Tei Shi provides us with outstanding vocals to create an EP that is nuanced in its simplicity and provides us with a great, easy-listening R&B sound. If I had to make one critique on Saudade, it would be that she only gave us six songs to indulge in. The EP takes just over 20 minutes to listen to, and is worth every second.