Tei Shi: Polished Intimacy in ‘Crawl Space’


Review and Photography by Megan T.

Tei Shi, known in her Canadian hometown as Valerie Teicher released her first single ‘M&M’ only 5 years ago and was praised as “transportive and exceedingly gorgeous” thanks to its minimal instrumentation of drums, harmonica and a “cooing a cappella” (Dummy Mag). Fast forward to sets at Coachella and Electric Forest and we have her March album ‘Crawl Space’ released with Downtown Records. Referencing a literal crawl space where she would confront her fear of the dark, the title itself is confined, shadowed and allusive. I adored ‘Justify’ that starts with an eye rolling ticking then layers on vocals both whispered and mezzo-soprano declarations. ‘Keep Running’s music video features the album cover’s friendly tarantula, a symbol I’m still curious about. It’s a breathy but clearer and smoother. It’s satin nightdresses and crew socks.


A little bit electronica, a bit R&B and a bit art pop, her performance came across as refined with outburst of exuberance. It was polished intimacy from a Madonna-esque feminine idol, traipsing with a self-imposed control that peeks from behind a velvet curtain at crucial moments. The band in matching sleeveless plaid shirts, Tei Shi in a creative contraption of black cloth, the venue was full of diverse but reliably stylish millennials. Join the Tei Shi fan base and give her new album or any of its 15 tracks a listen. My favorites include ‘How Far’ for its reflective wondering “how far can it take us before it forsakes us?” or “Como Si” with its approach to gentle greatness. Listen up. They’ll linger on you.


Categories: Live Music

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