There is a spatial eeriness to the arpeggios of “You Made Me Give You All My Love”. The piano and Winter’s vocals combine into a deep resonation, one that is reminiscing a love lost but not forgotten. All these tracks are a tight knit bunch even though they all display different ranges of the same sonic spectrum. With the drum loops and organ samples forming the album’s aesthetic backbone, it is Winter’s domination of her ambiance that keeps the ear intrigued. She is a bold enough musician to fearlessly elevate her sounds to the atmosphere, as displayed in “Wool”, and effortlessly bring it back to the cold and bleak earth she can’t keep herself from loving in “Bounce 700”; a track that can only be described as a Hymnal Ohrwurm. It is admirable how compassionate to the listener Teresa Winter is. After we are bathed in the steel drums and organ loops of “Bounce 700”, “Cannot Look” appears out of nowhere to act as the album’s echolocation, a sonic beamer that is guiding our ears through the sharp edges and barren plains into the bottomless ocean that “Oh Tina, No Tina” so effortlessly creates; like a demigod playing Sim City. Even the last synth note of “Cannot Look” comes out of nowhere like a long lost friend saying “Come with me, this journey is not over yet”. Once we are out of the woods, “The Place to Be” appears. The broken beats and the spoken word vocal mentioning a “summer of love” leads us to believe that maybe Winter is not the creator of the sonic world of “Oh Tina, No Tina” but merely a wanderer that is so brave that she is willing to take others on a journey in a land that she herself does not know well. “I was told this was the place to be” says the vocals, underlying the message of the troublesome wanderer that is Teresa Winter, making the best out of the circumstances she knows she can have no effect on.
And so forth comes “Fourteen Nights”, with it’s mesmerising synth loop and the ever changing pace of it’s drum loops, it acts as the album’s true catharsis, winding down in the last minute into a Basinski-esque synth pad that gently paves way into the epilogue of the final two tracks. Winter’s devotional vocals on “How Strange Are Bodies?” replenishes a long forgotten innocence into the album. With her singing emulating Protestant Hymns, Winter yet again questions the truths of the world unbeknownst to the being she personifies, a young yet curious spirit, being forced into put her ideas of belief and devotion into a melting pot and align herself with the part of the religious spectrum where no one dares question anything.
On the final track, “All My Holes”, she is worn out both physically and spiritually. The synth loops dominating the album turn into a single organ sounding somewhere between Procol Harum and early Boards of Canada. The pad in the back ground grows stronger as the track progresses, as if the gravity of the world she is desperately trying to break free from is trying to push her back to the harsh surface. She knows that in the end, after all of her spirit is beaten down and forced into a shape, they will come for her body. The notes on the organ grow longer as her fingers grow wearier. And then with an abrupt click, the journey ends. It feels too abrupt to be a proper ending, but then again aren’t all true endings abrupt?
By: Hakancan Altiner
Oh Tina, No Tina by Teresa Winter is out now via Reckno
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Image thanks to https://reckno.bandcamp.com
Many thanks to the label for the promo.