TRACK REVIEW: Tei Shi “Bassically”

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Tei Shi



On the heels of last year’s well-received debut EP Suadade, Tei Shi returns with “Bassically,” a song that begs while asking you to discount the pleading and take true consideration into the drowsy 80’s vibes that trickle in and out. Co-produced with Gianluca Buccellati, the track balances lushness and austerity like the best Johnny Jewel jams, resulting in the kind of sound that inspires swirling in circles of glitter and glowsticks.

The Argentinian-born Tei Shi, a.k.a. Valerie Teicher, has lived all over the world, from Vancouver to Bogota to Boston, and now lives in Brooklyn. The lyrics to the song are as worldly as Tei Shi is well-travelled; though her multi-cultural roots don’t crop up much in the track itself, her words are a warning that she’s not just something to throw carelessly away “like the other toys.” Willing to submit (or “behave,” as she puts it in the lyrics) she’s also challenging the listener to take her up on these promises, a dichotomy that’s worked well for like-minded artist FKA Twigs. Through that submission glimmers a need for power and desire to conquer.

The song in its entirety brings the listener up and down with high notes, low tones, drowned out and auto-tuned melodies as well as strikingly simple lyrics sung slightly serenely. The end of the song climaxes with layer upon layer of synths, tribal beats, and Tei Shi’s impassioned highest notes, forgoing lyrics for the primal release of bringing her energy to its ultimate level. She ends with a whisper, spent by the effort — “Please don’t say that I’m begging you for love” — as though to erase any hints or question of desperation that might have surfaced earlier on in the track.

Having recently signed to Mom + Pop imprint Mermaid Avenue, Tei Shi in both image and sound keeps up the dreamy idea of a supernatural creature. She’s playing several CMJ dates next week (listed below the track), where she’ll likely debut new material from her upcoming record, though no release date has been set.

10.22.14 – Disco Naivete / Crack In The Road CMJ Showcase (10:45PM) – Pianos – New York, NY
10.23.14 – Gorilla vs Bear CMJ Showcase (11:30PM) – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
10.24.14 – M For Montreal CMJ Showcase (11:00PM) – Arlene’s Grocery – New York, NY
11.17.14 – The Drake Hotel – Toronto, ON
11.19.14 – M For Montreal – Montreal, CA w/ Seoul