Words: Thomas Munday
West Australian indie-pop-rock group Teij, pronounced T-ee-ge, is quickly becoming one of the state’s most diverse and interesting acts. I first saw the group back in late November, a few months after the wave of underground murmurs and hearsay had begun.
Playing to a capacity crowd at the Indi Bar in Scarborough, for the release of its latest single I’ll Never Be A Wife, Teij immediately won everyone over. Fans, drunks, and ‘enthusiastic’ hotel guests were drawn to the group’s vivacious stylings. The performance knocked me for a loop, illustrating just how prescient WA music has always been, is, and will continue to be.
Shockingly, this ensemble has been together for a relatively miniscule period. Made up of lead singer, and classically trained soprano vocalist, Tahlia Beeson, guitarist Tim Milroy, keyboardist Chris Young, bassist Mat Cammarano, and drummer Brett Walsh, the band brings together varying sounds and styles in true WA music fashion. Milroy told The Ink Grid how Beeson pulled the band together with a unique vision in mind.
“You've got to credit Tahlia for that. She's very much the brains behind the band,” Milroy said.
“Tahls had begun working on finding her sound before she came after me and the other boys to round it out”.
Teij’s sound revolves around a mix of different flourishes including smooth, silky bass lines, drumming, and lead guitar. Its vibe is brought together by Beeson’s vivacious vocals and stage presence. The group perfectly describes itself, on AU Review, as: “It’s cheeky, it’s broody, and it’s better with wine”, Milroy says the group’s creations and performances revolve around improvisation and a cacophony of interesting concepts.
“Everything happens quite organically in the rehearsal rooms, we’ve had a really basic jam that's turned into a song and then we've had times when someone comes into the room with a song ready to go,” he said.
“We’re five completely different (influenced) musicians but we compliment each other well and I think that's part of us having a unique sound.”
Teij received plaudits from critics and fans after the launch of their first single Tell the Boys in September. Post breakout success, the ensemble was added to the 2015 WAM Festival line-up and the Kiss My WAMi CD compilation. The single highlights the group’s flawless collaboration, combining each member’s electrifying riffs and flourishes. The group’s discography includes a number of sultry tracks including Birdy and It’s a Wonder.
Teij has gone from strength to strength over 2015, touring with Sydney based group, Mansionair and local favourites, Our Man In Berlin. The group’s live performances are key to its ever-increasing notoriety, illustrating each member’s chemistry, local twang, and taste for theatrical live performance. Milroy says the local music scene – bands and crowds alike – has been significant to its quick ascension.
“We put in a lot of hours behind the scenes refining the show so when we get on stage we can just concentrate on putting as much energy and emotion into the performance as possible,” he said.
“We've had a huge amount of support from some great local bands, Our Man In Berlin, These Winter Nights and Oakland got behind us really early in the game and helped us put on some killer shows.”
To top it off, Tell the Boys was recently nominated by Live and Local 89.7fm as one of the best WA songs of the year. Teij is looking forward to an even more successful and diverse 2016, set to release a new single and their debut EP along with continuing a tour across the state. Milroy hopes the group’s new projects will contribute to its well-deserved meteoric rise.
“I'm really looking forward to getting back into the studio and would love to take Teij on the road next summer,” he said.
“The writing process for the next single has been the highlight for me so far, we really clicked as a band and I can't wait to get the new track out.”
Teij’s tracks are available on Triple J and Soundcloud. For more information visit their website.