by Sean Delles
Every blue moon or two, a sonic miracle strolls its way into my life. A pop song of mind-boggling proportions materializes out of thin air, demands my full and undivided attention, and then rouses within me my musical Mr. Hyde. I become a proselytizing madman — doing everything in my ability to spread the word, spread the sound, spread the hype. It happened once with Jocelyn Alice’s “Jackpot,” more recently with Beyoncé’s “Hold Up,” and now it’s happening again (full-swing) with Tei Shi’s “Justify.”
A single off her newly-released debut album Crawl Space, “Justify” hits harder than a pillowcase full of soap bars. It’s a mesmerizing mix of slot machine arpeggios, muted drumline rhythms, and squirrelly falsettos (a la Prince). Spaced-out one moment and then bustling the next, “Justify” is dynamic in all the right ways. It’s electropop that wavers beautifully between mainstream and experimental sensibilities — never quite straying too far in either direction. “Justify” (and Crawl Space for that matter) is a sonorous, jaw dropping addition to the music of early 2017. Tei Shi, a 26-year-old Brooklynite hailing from Argentina, should be both on your radar and in your headphones. Check her out live at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade NYC on May 10th to see for yourself.