“A Kiss Goodbye” can exist in the background if you want it to, but to truly experience its power, you’ve got to turn it up.
Tei Shi’s first single since the release of her 2017 album Crawl Space is a humid cloud of bassy bossa nova. The rhythm rolls so consistently it could lull you into a trance if it weren’t for her gorgeous and simple melodic twists and turns. Tei Shi is capable of a bigger pop sound (see most of Crawl Space) but it’s the restraint employed on “A Kiss Goodbye” that makes its bubbling emotion hit that much harder. This is especially true once you turn up the volume. The bass and the percussion start to resonate deeper, the air grows thicker, and you can’t help but sway along with the groove. “I lead with my body, I follow with my head”, Tei Shi coos in the chorus, serving up the song’s central thesis — it immediately pleases on a visceral level and once your brain catches up, you know your body has made the right move.
Tei Shi announced a few weeks ago that she is finishing up her next album and if “A Kiss Goodbye” is any indication, it will be a record that subverts tropes and surprises you by appearing as one thing and slowly becoming something deeper and more alluring.