Album Reviews: Haim, Nadine Shah, Tei Shi
Haim — Women in Music Pt. III (Los Angeles)
Haim is one of those bands that you could easily be won over by interviews of the band before you even hear their music, and it's the cherry on top that they sound so great. For one of their smoothest listens in years, the sister trio crafts endless riffs and sonic bliss into a package that captures more overt emotion than they've ever done before. You're immediately sucked into the groove on "Los Angeles," as saxophone and the sisters' immaculate harmonies make you want to sway around your living room. However they hit a fun, explosive pop kick on "The Steps" with just the right amount of blown out drums and warped guitars to take a Fleetwood Mac-like sound somewhere new. You can imagine their coordinated dance moves hearing the sublime bass and beat to "Don't Wanna," and they let loose one of their most addictive vocal hooks in some time. The back half of the record hits a classic rock high on "I've Been Down" as their song writing taps into hooks from across radio hits for a modern gem.
Tei Shi — Die 4 Ur Love (Bogota/Vancouver/New York City)
Valerie Teicher has mixed her Colombian roots with pop and R&B to great effect, but now she's tying a little more into the mix. With a bit for the first album fans and a push to both weirder and more accessible pop, this EP sees Teicher changing it up. "Johnny" feels like a fun Top-40 dance mix on a "Bang Bang" style crooner track, and never lets up for a minute. Her deep bass and gripping electronics really take off on "Die 4 Ur Love" and let you just shake off all your troubles in its massive sound. There's a directional rush to "Daydream" that lets its stomping beat and constant chug really hold you in, as it plays to an atypical chorus-less style. The punchy attitude and percussive vocals on "Goodbye" work best to take Tei Shi's classic style somewhere new, as the synths themselves breathe with a classic flair and brilliance all their own.
Khruangbin — Mordechai (Houston, TX)
As a band that you can hear anywhere without knowing it's them, and still fall in love by their musical merit, Khruangbin continue to impress listeners. There's such a sublime feeling to the jam-like flow of "First Class" that it can sooth you down, while equally sparking your mind to new places. It's the funk drive of "Time (You and I)" however that will really get you shaking, as this band effortlessly ties their fun vocals to the bouncy grooves for an intoxicating feel. The most exotic riffs fly out on "Pelota" as they push towards a much more pop-centric song but with so much exciting detail in the background that there isn't a part you won't want to clap or sing along to. These two styles blend beautifully in "So We Won't Forget" where the psychedelics, catchy choruses and brilliant rhythm section collide in a cocktail of dance greatness.
Rosh Grove — Weakdays: Friday Vibes (Toronto)
With a radio hip hop sound, but a genre-blending focus to keep him fresh from everyone else, Rosh Grove is poised to turn heads. "Lowkey" takes a lot of Migos-like style but points it all around a brighter sound and singular voice to feel just as wild but uniquely Grove. In the warmth of "Gotta Leh Go" there's an early-2000's hip hop sound, luring you in to a more welcoming place while feeling just a tad sultry. And the glossy snyths of "Run & Gun" play as the most alluring love track here, with the clever word play to make it feel personal.
Nadine Shah — Kitchen Sink (London, U.K.)
There's always something unexpected in Nadine Shah's music, and it leaves a fun edge to all of her recordings. Whether it's the huge band hits or otherworldly melodies she lets out on this new release, she clearly isn't getting comfortable. This leaves the smoky tone of "Club Cougar" so wonderfully weird, and lets the gigantic punch of horns and screams work so well by contrast. But as the drums take over on "Ladies for Babies (Goats for Love)" Shah seems to be charming you towards her, all while the chorus shrieks with a punk fury. Amidst all the grooves of "Dillydally" the obtuse hooks feel equally child-like and fascinatingly abrasive, and yet her over-the-top harmonies continue to charm here. Shah falls into a wonderful trance from her band on "Ukrainian Wine," as she sounds like she's truly riding the wave of highs and lows in their energy.