In the beginning of the video for "Keep Running," Argentine pop singer Tei Shi
appears in nothing but a slip dress, silk robe, and a head full of tight curls. She nonchalantly sings some karaoke, wanders around a party, and dances on a chair. Her facial expression makes us think she's not trying at all, but everything else is telling us that this video is instantly iconic. It was the first piece we received off of her debut full-length, Crawl Space
, and it perfectly set the tone for everything else we were about to see.
I arrived at Rough Trade in Brooklyn on a Tuesday night. Because it was a Tuesday, I had low expectations for the crowd. Sure, this is the city that never sleeps, but asking us to turn up on a Tuesday, with the weight of Wednesday upon us, is like asking an angry toddler to listen. It's just not realistic... But boy, my expectations were exceeded by a landslide. As soon as Tei Shi, aka Valerie Teicher, took the stage in a sheer long sleeved leotard and jeans with cut outs, diving into the psych-pop "How Far," the crowd went wild. "Man, you guys are rowdy!
" she claimed halfway through the set. There was a (way too romantic) couple making out in front of me, a group of dancing girls to the left who were clearly there on a girls night out, and a weirdly large amount of bros shouting "go girl!" between each song. I was surprised by the eclectic spread of people, but then again it all made sense, given Teicher's genre-bending ways and sensual accessibility.
When watching Teicher run around on stage is when I realized that everything she encompasses is so effortless. As soon as her sweet voice hits, with that breathy falsetto that even Prince would be proud of, everything feels so natural. She is capable of belting but she only does it when she wants to - instead she uses an immense amount of control to intricately carve her name in something unique. She pairs the spot-on vocals with dance moves that go from relaxed and slow to borderline twerking on the ground. She projects confidence and sensuality. Women want to be her while men want to date her, she's a pop star, but her indie-tinged authenticity makes it feel like she's in reach. This was the first show of her tour and one of the first shows since the release of Crawl Space.
I'd say we can expect to see a lot more of Tei Shi in the future.