Pastel skies and pink umbrellas, 90’s denim ensembles and vintage Chevy Impala’s; this is my first impression of TEA in the form of her new music video, NINETY FIVE お茶 (subtitled in Japanese for all your comprehension needs.)
At first- because I’m a skeptic by nature- I decided to give the track a try sans-imagery. I didn’t want my opinion of the music to be muddied by my interpretation of the aesthetic. After all, I haven’t heard her music at all until this moment. I’m pleasantly surprised and equally impressed.
TEA is doing pop music and though that’s not always my cup of tea (I had to), she’s executed it so well that I’ve had to have this on loop during my long windy walks home. The nostalgic quality of the overall mix and the dream-pop lyricism appealed to my inner daydreamer, and I was elated to find that this was wholly represented in her visuals. I felt transported into the past, and not just because of the VHS glitch (which was executed just as well, if not better than in PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Recognize) but also because of the fuzzy, distant sound of the vocals. Everything about this song and its video scream 90s nostalgia. The styling is a flawless mixture of classic ode-to-Fresh-Prince vintage, with a current flair — and it comes to life in the similar style of choreography incorporated.
Frankly, I’m shocked that this girl is Toronto-based; her sound is so different from anything I’ve heard out of the city recently, and this video encapsulates that California easy-breezy vibe without seeming phony or cheesy. She’s bringing back group coreo in an offhand effortless way that is just so gosh darned endearing. I loved seeing this spritely thing lead a troup of male dancers, all drenched in vintage riches. To top it all off -in the name of girlpower- TEA actually directed this video herself. It’s inspiring to see how cohesively the audio vibes were translated into visuals and I can only attribute this to TEA’s earnest involvement. Talvi did the same thing in her video for Manic, which happens to be another favorite song+video combo of mine out of Toronto.
With that said, here’s TEA, with her latest music video for NINETY FIVE お茶