Singer-songwriter and Brooklyn city-dweller Tei Shi dropped her second EP Verde recently—teaming with up with her partner in sonic musicality Luca Buccellati, for another round of hazy layered synths, pulsating beats, and atmospheric voice manipulation. Synth-pop, sonic R&B, Indie-electronica? It doesn’t matter. When the hypnotic sounds start emanating from your headphones, hybrid genre names do not mater.
In the vein of similar acts like Little Dragon, Grimes, Banks, or even the more alternatively soulful FKA Twigs, Tei Shi takes the canvas she’s given and intertwines multiple layers with her voice, similar to Poliça’s Channing Leaneagh. Sometimes it’s like there are five Tei Shi’s singing on one song. With her EP Verde and a full album to be released later in 2015—now is the time to drop Tei Shi’s name in your local hipster coffee shop for some serious music cred.
If you thought Saudade meandered in a suspended atmospheric state, Verde elevates the dripping electronics and sonic soundscape up a few notches. “Can’t Be Sure” opens the short six song EP with a dream-inducing beat while Tei Shi’s voice breathlessly echoes through different manipulation techniques.
While songs like “Never Mind the End” and “M&M’s” off her previous EP Saudade keep to a more straight forward lyrical structure, Verde allows more space for Luca Buccellati to build beats in textures. Song likes “See Me” and “Go Slow” simmer with an electric soulful feel. Tei Shi’s whispery voice climbs and dives in layered harmonies, weaving around the production like a trail of smoke and punctuated by the right amount of echoing bass to make the head nod.
“Go Slow” floats along in slow motion until a wall of sound explodes over Tei Shi’s voice like a crashing wave. Tinges of electronics eat away in the background, fading in and out like a pulsar.
However the undeniable diamond on this short EP is “Basically”. For all the hazy sensuality, combined with danceable building beats on the other songs—this track is where all their potential spills through. Adding a little more glitz to the production, “Basically” feels like it was meant to be a single, whereas some of the other tracks, Tei Shi (real name Valiere Teicher) and Luca Buccellati crafted, feel like jam sessions, exploring the limits of their atmospherically sonic tastes.
“Basically” is infectious, there is fluidity to the production that you can tell time to craft. If this is a sign of where both Tei Shi, and Buccellati can go as musical partners, then her forthcoming LP could propel her music to ever greater heights. She already has put herself on the map with her first EP, dropping a cover of Beyoncé’s “No Angel”, and being featured on British indie band, Glass Animals’ track “Holiest”.
Verde seems to be somewhat of a warm-up, showcasing where Tei Shi and Buccellati can take their sound. Nevertheless, whether driving through the avenues of crowded metro or canvassing a scenic drive, Tei Shi’s music shimmers with an electronic flourish and a style that is only beginning to take shape—drawing the listener into a sonic sound bubble of her own creation.