Following The Zombies with a Stubb’s-sized crowd isn’t an enviable gig, but someone’s got to do it. The masses parted, and then there was Tei Shi, a slender Brooklyn-based songstress with a knot of turquoise-tinted hair and a lace tank and red plaid skirt: the kind of get-up that screams, “I’m in a band” even in a week that sees a spike in… interesting fashion statements. But like all proper rockstars, even those still on the lesser known side of the star spectrum, she pulls it off and looks (and sounds) cool as hell.
Think half Feist, half FKA twigs. Tei Shi’s music is often slow — seductive lullabies with breathy vocal loops, assorted laptop-fueled synth wizardry, and occasional sparkles of live guitar and drum. (She played with two other musicians live.) But the slower jams never felt dull and the crowd swayed in the gravel under the big Texas sky at Stubb’s. Tei Shi noted this is the biggest crowd they’ve played to yet. (Bonus tidbit: It was also one that included Bill Murray.)
Tei Shi closed with “Bassically,” [sic] a song that builds from a quiet simmer with a robotic heartbeat drum patter and starts piling it on with a heavier second chorus. Before you know it, it’s tossed out any ballad business and you’ve stumbled into a surprisingly all-in R&B banger. It’s a stellar track and got heads nodding and some genuine applause and woo-ing from a crowd that was probably mostly leftover from The Zombies or waiting around for Max Frost or MS MR.