Valerie Teicher (born Buenos Aires, Argentina), best known by her stage name Tei Shi, is an Argentine indie pop singer-songwriter and producer currently based in Brooklyn. She released her first singles and music videos in 2013, also performing live for the first time at CMJ. Tei Shi released her debut EP Saudade in November 2013,[2] which Noisey described as a "layered masterpiece of melodies... expertly entwined vocal loops, and shivery sonics."[3] In 2014 she released two singles: "Adder(f)all" and a cover of Beyonce's "No Angel." She was also a guest artist on the track "Holiest" by Glass Animals, an English indie rock band.[4]

Early life

Valerie Teicher was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.[5] Throughout her childhood and teen years she moved often, adapting to cities such as Bogotá, Colombia, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Montreal, Quebec.[6] She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts,[6] and afterwards moved to New York City.[5]

Music career

2013: First singles

In the summer of 2013 Tei Shi released her first single, which she announced would later appear on her upcoming debut EP. Titled "M&Ms," Dummy Magazine called the single "transportive and exceedingly gorgeous," stating "minimal background instrumentation is limited to an echoing drum track, mouth organs and a few lonely guitar bits, but they provide a solid framework for her soft, cooing acapella."[7] A video was released along with the song,[2] and directed by singer-songwriter Grimes' brother Mac Boucher.

She performed her first shows in the fall of 2013, playing at CMJ. According to Noisey, she loops live vocals during her set to create a layered effect.[8]

On November 1, 2013 she released the second promo song for the EP, titled "Nevermind the End."[2] The Fader called the track "slinky" and "more traditionally structured" than her first song.[2] Kim Taylor Bennett of Noisey described the track as one of the "best seven songs" of 2013, and praised her lyrics, harmonies, and tonal buildup.[8] Hypetrak wrote that Tei Shi's "airy" vocals "contrastingly bump well with the heavy production and hints of charming synth pop."[9]

A third promo single, "Nature Vs. Nurture," was released on November 5, 2013. Stereogum wrote that the track is a "cascading bedroom-R&B and future pop track that evolves from quiet, but dizzying layers of harmonies into fleshed out vocal rounds with a Tropcalía-tinged backbone."[10]

2013: Saudade

"Saudade tips the scales to the sad side, but is all the more soul-crushingly beautiful for it... Tei Shi range is tonally akin to Feist and Lianne La Havas, and what's so goosebump-inducingly awesome about this EP is its range... Elegant, elegiac, and sensual, Saudade, is both excellently titled and the best thing we've heard all fall."
Noisey[11]

Tei Shi released her six-track debut EP Saudade, on November 12, 2013.[2] Among her collaborators was her friend Luca (Gianluca Buccellati), who she had met while a student at Berklee.[6] The word "saudade" is Portuguese, describing a sentimental yearning for someone or for the happiness of a former place or time. Her previous singles were included on the EP, as well as several new tracks. Stated Noisey, it is a "layered masterpiece of melodies that duck and dive, expertly entwined vocal loops, and shivery sonics."[3]

2014: Recent projects

She released her new single "Adder(f)all" as a free mp3 in January 2014. She told Rolling Stone that the song resulted from three different song ideas joined together. "Instead of making a really structured song I just looped these three sections/melody lines over one another, building them up and layering with harmonies. It was originally a capella and when the instrumentals were added it really came into its own."[12] In the same month a remix of "Closer (Heart Shaped Birthmark Remix)" by Spirals hit the blogosphere with the prominent blog stating, "SPIRALs has found a way to make something already so smooth into a beautifully jagged juxtaposition of a mixture. A robotic end to a beautiful romance."[13]

"We originally wanted to work with Tei Shi because she has an amazing voice and this modern New York R&B thing. We sent her a couple beats... and she sent back the great vocal you hear in the song, about both loving and hating something all at the same time.”[14]
— Dave Bayley of Glass Animals (2014)[14]

She released her second music video in March 2014, to the track "Nevermind the End."[3] Also in March 2014 she was a featured guest on the track "Holiest" by Glass Animals, an English indie rock band. She sings a duet with Glass Animals' Dave Bayley, with both voices representing the perspectives of different characters.[4] Under the Radar called her vocal performance "delicate,"[4] with Vogue describing them as "airy and minimalist [and] R&B-inflected."[14]

In summer of 2014 she collaborated with Gianluca Buccellati, and together they arranged and recorded a cover of "No Angel" by Beyoncé.[6] Wrote Stereogum, "In her cover, Tei Shi keeps the song's lovesick drift intact but adds all these trickly little bloop-pop flourishes."[15] The Fader described the cover as an "'80s-leaning take," stating that "breezy vocals and glowing synths were made for this role."[16]

Musical style

The Fader stated that she is "known for making whisper-y, slow and sensual bedroom pop."[16]

Personal life

As of 2014 Tei Shi lives in Brooklyn.[6]

Discography

EPs

EPs by Tei Shi
YearEP titleRelease details
2013Saudade
  • Released: Nov 12, 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital
2015Verde
  • Released: Spring 2015
  • Format: Digital, CD

Singles

Selected songs by Tei Shi
YearTitleAlbumRelease details
2013"M&Ms"Single
only
Self-released (Jul 22, 2013); Music video
"Nevermind the End"Self-released (Oct 31, 2013); Music video (March '14)
"Nature Vs. Nurture"Self-released (Nov 5, 2013)
2014"Adder(f)all"Self-released (Jan 2014)
"No Angel" (Beyonce cover)Self-released (summer 2014)
2015"Bassically"Verde EPSelf-released (Feb 11, 2015)

Guest appearances

Selected songs featuring Tei Shi
YearSingle namePrimary artist(s)AlbumRelease details
2014"Holiest" (ft. Tei Shi)Glass AnimalsGlass Animals EPHarvest Records (March 2014)
2015"Arrest Me" (ft. Tei Shi)Shy Girls4WZ EP

Self-release (February 2015)