This ‘There’s a whole world out there’ features a band from Prague – teepee. I came across this band when attempting to listen to a track over and over again on YouTube from The Clouded Lights that I’m reviewing (this review will be published on 22nd May). The track that kept coming up after the Clouded Lights’ track and I had to ‘go back’ from was from teepee, and every time it started I listened to a bit more of the track, until finally I gave into what I was hearing and just let it wash over me.
Somehow and for some strange reason the track just grabbed me, no idea why, it’s just not entirely the sort of music that I usually go for. Maybe it was the simple but oh so beautiful arrangement, maybe it was the voices which are just incredible. Right at that moment I was so moved by this music that I started to explore their other tracks, find out whether they had a Facebook Page – they do – and message them. Thankfully they were nice enough to reply to this strange message from a music website based in Yorkshire and tell me where I could find their music.
So what do I know about teepee – very little really. The duo are Teera & Mason and as I said their hometown at least as far as their Page tells us is Prague. Their first album ‘Albatross’ was released in 2016, an EP in 2017 called ‘Mirrors’, and their new single is ‘Running Around’. They’ve never played in the UK but hope to!
What I found when exploring their other music is that I found the same qualities – beautifully arranged and played music with those voices. And if you haven’t clicked play on the video at the top of this piece then do that right now. Nice eh, I guess you could draw comparisons with The Civil Wars voice wise if you had to, if you really had to. But actually not really in some ways if I’m honest.
Musically they’re sometimes folky, sometimes country, sometimes indie, sometimes electronica. But the voices and the honest emotions are common.
I think what took me with this music is that it’s so obviously honest, it’s real and it’s meant. It’s full of understated emotion and it is, and I’m going to say it, beautiful.
So what to review? I could review the album, the single or just pick out some highlights. On reflection let’s just pick out some highlights and I can leave you to find your own favourites on their various streaming sites.
So let’s start with ‘Mirror’ (available on Spotify and the video above on Youtube) the song I kept hearing. This is one that builds and builds, it’s voices over gentle guitar, gradually that guitar builds, there are simple keyboards, and then it drops out, it swells – that swell will grab at your soul – and there is sudden rush of guitar, it’s strident, it’s just simply wonderful. The thing about this track, as with a lot of teepee’s music is that it’s simple but simple is really hard to do well. They do it exceptionally well.
‘Paintings’ is taken from their debut album and is at heart a sort of folkish/country song but it’s clever. The thing I really like about this song are the words, the music is really great, but the words are fabulous.
And now for something different ‘Running Around’ – the current single – is slightly country tinged in places, but it keeps changing, it is suddenly the most wonderful piece of pop electronica I’ve heard in a long time at one point. It is the most ear-wormy thing, I keep finding myself singing the chorus at the most inappropriate times (in the queue at the Post Office today for example). And it ends on this lovely piece of acapella singing. Again it’s simple, it’s honest, it’s full of understated emotions.
Again from their debut album ‘Raining’ is just the most disturbing song, it sounds like it’s the title song to a film about a world destroying event. It’s part weird cabaret, part gothic country. It leaves you feeling desolate. Quite what is raining down, whatever it is they want to be ‘hiding in their shelters tonight’.
‘Albatross’ the tile track of their album is one of those deceptively simple songs, on the face of it it’s those voices and a guitar. There’s some bass I think in there somewhere but it’s all kept low-key. It just swells vocally, and as it swells, you feel optimistic (this is going to make sense if you actually listen to the track honest).
I know of you are going to be thinking ‘but hold on here a minute, isn’t there enough great music that is from here, or the UK, or even those bands that are well-known from further afield’. To which I say probably yes, but sometimes it’s worth taking what’s offered to you as a related track or video on streaming sites. Sometimes you come across something really worthwhile, that you’re never going to find shared by your friend on Facebook or Twitter, that isn’t going to pop up on some music blog. In my case I can do that, I can say I think I’ve found something worth a listen and I think you should listen to it as well. And no, unless you pester your local promoter or venue, you might not actually ever get to see this band (there are some live videos on YouTube which look great) but you can listen to them at the very least.
So I’m going to finish this piece with a challenge – if you’ve found a band or artist on your travels across the internet or just found out about them somehow and you think people should know about them, write a piece about them telling us why other people should listen to them, email it to us and we’ll consider it for publication. We might ask you to rewrite it a bit before we publish.
You need links to their streaming sites, Facebook Page and website if possible. You’ll need to include some sort of comment about their music like I have in this piece.
The band or artist doesn’t need to come from Yorkshire – that’s what ‘There’s a whole world out there’ is about – but if they do then that’s cool. The main thing is that they need to be relatively unknown (if none of your friends have heard of them then that’s enough).
This review is one of our ‘There’s A World Out There’ features in which we will choose things to review – albums, singles, gigs – that we like and feel are worth a listen – but are not made or played in Yorkshire. It’s as simple as that.