The somewhat abused adage that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” is probably nowhere more apt than in the case of the artist Tei Shi. Her voice and stylings soar through a realm visited by the likes of Sia, Bjork, Sade, or Imogen Heap – in that she has the range of pitch and expression to go there – but she certainly doesn’t sound like any of them. A round up of what others are saying won’t help much either: “Expansive, chill-inducing and equally entrancing” (Gorilla vs Bear) “A beacon of melancholia’s painful beauty. Inescapable” (Stereogum) “Sexy to the point of indecency” (The Line of Best Fit) “Sweetly ethereal, spacious dream-daze avant hyperballads” (The Guardian) “A skilled and fluid vocalist, the kind who can create waves with nothing but her voice and loops.” (Pitchfork). Pitchfork also compares her work to that of Kelela, Tinashe, Rahel, or Shura, which is perhaps apt for an odd reason: you probably haven’t listened to them, either!
So let’s let her music speak for itself. Videos further below, and currently she has two EP’s available:
See Me takes you on a journey from the natural to the backstreet urban beauty of Bogotá, with Tei Shi’s voice as the vehicle.
From looping atmospheric angelics to saucy and soulful R&B pleading, “Get It” is a surprisingly spacious and jazzy journey as well.
Another textural trip, M&Ms engages in the same kind of auditory acrobatics, but in such a smooth moody manner that you barely notice.
This is her latest, and obviously geared toward commercial/dance appeal. Still works, but quite a leap from the more textural tracks.