Future: I missed my opportunity to review Violens‘ debut record last year, and after watching this video for ‘Der Microarc’ taken from their upcoming album, you’ll see why I’m excited for it. True will be released May 15th.
Teeel: University Heights– Teeel is an electro dream pop artist from New Jersey. After I first heard Teeel’s Amulet last year, I admit that I wasn’t super impressed with it. I liked it, but I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Then I kept listening… this is where Teeel gets you. The beauty of his music is that the more times you hear it, the more new things you hear. He has a way of crafting songs in a way where each layer is subtle, yet apparent. This lets you hear something new each time you listen to it. The thing is, this is more rare and difficult to pull off than you might think it is and shows why Teeel is special.
Teeel’s influences are very apparent on University Heights even more than they were on his debut. 80s soundtracks, new wave and electro are dotted throughout this record and the more you dig into it, the more his genius bleeds through. In addition to great programming from start to finish, his lyrics also take on interesting themes. For example, on ’88Mph‘ he takes on the role of Marty McFly from Back To The Future bragging about his DeLorean while ‘Deadites‘ is an obvious nod to the Evil Dead movies. Then other times we’re reminded of some of the work he did on Amulet with tracks like ‘Marx On My Heart’ and ‘Crystal Lake’ that have driving beats and silky-smooth vocals. Then you look at tracks like ‘The Lucania’ and ‘Centauri’ which have some of the best beat-synth combinations that I think I’ve ever heard… There are so many layers to enjoy and explore here that it’s no wonder that it seems like you’re hearing it for the first time on each listen.
As a whole, University Heights is filled with gem after gem of complex and ingenious beats and synths that get better the more you hear them. Teeel has once again made another record that I simply couldn’t imagine living without. Absolute perfection…10/10