Live Review: Tei Shi @ Songbyrd - 5/12/2017 by Mauricio Castro

From my review of Tei Shi at

The transition from music blog darling to pop stardom is not an easy one. Fortunately, Valerie Teicher, also known as Tei Shi, is on the right track. Initial releases like “M&Ms” and “Nevermind the End” earned her some well-deserved buzz, but 2015’s “Bassically” put her on the radar for many, earning her opening slots for the likes of Years & Years and Grimes. After nearly four years of putting out singles and EPs, she signed with Downtown Records in 2016 and released her anticipated debut album Crawl Space in March 2017.

For her set, Tei Shi’s set did not rely on well-timed dance moves (not enough space) or intricate light shows (heavy red lighting engulfed the band for the entirety of the set) like other pop singers might. Instead, the star of the show was Teicher’s vocals. Her breathy, Prince-like vocals on “Justify” were punctuated by purposefully strained yells as heavy bass rattled the room. On songs like the retro-futuristic “Creep” and the aforementioned “Bassically,” she hit (coincidentally) Mariah Carey-like highs that received some raucous applause. It’s incredible to think that she can pull it off night after night, especially on the top-of-your-lungs and top-of-your-vocal-range chorus of “Bassically,” which was also the set closer. And while her backing band was strong throughout, they created an overwhelming wall of sound for the final song that complemented Teicher’s powerful vocals, filling the room with reverberating guitar tremolos and razor-sharp synths. But in the end, it’s her standout voice that entranced the sold-out crowd at Songbyrd and will continue to entrance in the future.

Opening for Tei Shi were Colombian duo Salt Cathedral. The duo of Juliana Ronderos on vocals and Nicolas Losada and guitar impressed with their Caribbean-infused pop music gems. Rondero’s delicate, almost Bjork-like voice effortlessly complimented the summer-ready production of their music. Their latest single “Run for the Money” was released in March and features rapper Assassin, who was also featured on Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry.”