The lead single from Atlanta’s Tealights debut EP, Take us by Sea – due out tomorrow – is not what you’d immediately expect from the deep south of America. They’re lazy stereotypes, but when I think of Georgia I imagine primal, sweaty blues rock, or swaggering , bass-heavy Hip Hop. This EP is neither of those things, as you would imagine with a name like ‘Tealights’.

As a single, Exit acts as a perfect manifesto for the groups sound. Having heard the whole record (It’s good) it’s one of the strongest songs and showcases their dark introspective chamber-rock come baroque pop. The song opens with stuttering programmed beats which is almost immediately shattered by a cymbal crash. The song threatens to chug along as a typical sepia-tinged indie-rock number, but falters almost immediately as it is taken down by mournful cello and delicate, shimmering bells as the electronic beats return and stutter beneath the live drums which take a back seat to the songs understated melody.

The tracks are minimal and spacious, lead by lead singer Nancy Shim’s haunting vocals, sparkling guitars and filmic cello that’s augmented by a palette of electronic sounds that throb and pulse in the background, evocative of Asobi Seksu without the shoegaze, or a less overtly electronic, grandiose Portishead. Their sound isn’t wholly original, but they do an admirable job of carving out their own, frustrating to pin-down, niche.

Take us by sea is available to purchase here. I’m not sure of any digital distribution, but keep your eyes peeled. Their Myspace (posted below) has a number of other tracks from the EP.

And if you’re in the American South or West over the next few weeks, you could do worse than check them out live.

And some upcoming tour dates…

9/29 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Drunken Unicorn w/ School of Seven Bells (CD release)
10/7 – Asheville, NC @ Bobo Gallery
10/8 – Wilmington, NC @ Soapbox Laundro-Lounge
10/9 – Blacksburg, Va. @ WUVT Radiothon
10/10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Matchless
10/11 – New York, NY @ The Tank
10/13 – Saginaw, Mich. @ White’s Bar
10/14 – South Bend, Ind. @ Anchor Inn
10/15 – Forest Park, Ill. @ Murphy’s
10/20 – Atlanta, Ga. @ 529 w/ White Hinterland
10/31 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Highland Ballroom
11/11 – Mobile, Al. @ Alabama Music Box
11/16 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Modified Arts w/ Really Big Birds, Yellow Minute, and Belafante
11/17 – San Diego, Ca. @ Kava Lounge w/ Really Big Birds & Ghost Orchid
11/18 – Los Angeles, Ca. @ Room 5 Lounge w/ Reallly Big Birds
11/20 – Flagstaff, Ariz. @ Mia’s w/ Reallly Big Birds
11/21 – Albuquerque, NM @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge w/ Really Big Birds
11/24 – Hot Springs, Ark. @ Maxine’s w/ Reallly Big Birds

MP3: Tealights – Exit
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/tealightstheband


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