Tei Shi’s EP Verde Lives Out Summer Vibes

Photo by Eric White 

Valerie Teicher aka Tei Shi released her EP Verde on April 14th through Mermaid Avenue Records and Mom + Pop Music. This 5 song EP is a perfect leisurely listen for sitting out on a deck during a warm, breezy day. Rock On Philly got an exclusive closer look as Tei Shi lays out the making of the EP.

Rock On Philly: First off, what was your inspiration for the music video for “Bassically”?

Tei Shi: I made that video with my very good friend Nick Pesce, who has made music videos for a lot of our friends and local bands. We spent some time fleshing out the video concept, as we knew that it had to be something really strong to complement the song. I knew I wanted it to be centered around some type of girl troop–I wanted that powerful, aggressive tone in the video with a very feminine delivery. I had two friends in mind and so we started with that concept, and we knew that we wanted the aesthetic to be something like an 80s comic book meets grindhouse feel. Nick really added that aesthetic and made it look very authentic. We ended up just shooting in kind of documentary style, and the more kind of lighthearted things like the monster and after effects came together in post. We both agreed that the video needed something very powerful but also fun…and that was really the message.

ROP: How long did the recording process take for the EP?
TS: Well, I wrote all of the songs between 2013 and early 2014. I had a bunch of material written and in demo form, and I brought this into the ‘studio’ aka bedroom with Luca [Buccellati], and whittled it down to those five. We spend about three weeks re-recording things, adding instrumentation, producing, developing them. That was all done by last summer. Then the EP took some months to get mixed and mastered and all that…so the project was drawn out in a sense over the span of a year, year and a half. The actual recording process probably lasted a month.
ROP: What was your favorite part about the recording process?
TS: I love the control aspect of it. Everything is at your fingertips, and it’s so easy to make an idea come to life instantly and change it, edit it, mess with it…it’s all under your control. I like the comfort of it in the environment I have created so far when it comes to recording. It’s the most exciting and wonderful part of all of this for me.
ROP: Do you plan on releasing a full album in the near future with the EP?
TS: I would definitely like to release a full length album soon…to be determined for now. But I am already working on material for it.

ROP: Your sound samples are very unique. What do you get inspiration from to bring these sounds together?

TS: Well, these are a result of collaboration with Luca who produces my music with me and has a big hand in the overall sound. He has a much better sound library than I do, and he brings a lot of really great soundscapes to the songs. A lot of things are very of the moment and makeshift though…a lot of the main percussive sounds on “See Me” consist of me stomping on the floor in my room, tapping my fingers on my desk, clicking my tongue, slamming keys on a guitar case, creaking doors, that sort of thing. And then there are subtle ridiculous sounds I like to throw into songs that end up adding something interesting. The intro of the EP, “Can’t Be Sure,” has me chewing right on the mic and crunching a plastic bottle and making weird noises with my mouth. So I think a lot of the unique kind of off putting sounds stem from that approach. But there is a lot of thought and selectiveness put into samples and such, and that comes out of the collaboration between Luca and I.

ROP: Who/which musicians do you listen to currently?
TS: Right now I’m listening to a lot of Angel Olsen, Shamir, Sean Nicholas Savage, and Badbadnotgood.

There is a lot to love about this EP. “Can’t Be Sure” has a floaty, extremely quiet, start with delicate harmony of female vocals. “Bassically” pleads for a chance for love while chill vibes flow through the song with funky keys and laid back easiness in the vocals. Gradually growing louder and stronger, the emotions become more intense. “Get It” is sexy, sensual, and the high vocal range rings clear. Tei Shi’s effortlessly gorgeous voice is one to pay attention to. Listen to Verde below!

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