Updated: Jul 18, 2018
If you’ve never heard of the Flint-native band, Teaheads, or if you used to follow their career, it’s time to familiarize or re-familiarize yourself with the group. Teaheads, made up of Tyler Rigdon, Travis Hall and Nick Baker, have revamped their once indie/folk-rock sound to something that can be described as the art-pop Stevie Nicks Photo by Alicia Schneider would appreciate.
Now, working for a record label in New York City, Rigdon flies home two to three times a month to work on all things Teaheads at Rooftop Recording in Michigan. Taking the time for a phone chat while walking along the loud and bustling streets of the Big Apple, he reflected on his hometown’s influence on his career. Flint, often overlooked, has a “thriving” music scene according to Rigdon.
"When we started, we were really involved with the punk, indie and DIY scene that was happening in Flint at the time,” he said. “As thankful as I am for that and as many friends I have from that, I think we're one of the only bands that broke away from that and are playing very unapologetic pop music and putting our own twist on that stuff. It doesn't make sense to people that Flint has an extremely thriving scene. From my time of living there, you can see upwards to three shows a week at a bar, DIY club or someone's house. Seeing a lot of the bands I saw in Flint influenced the way I wrote and performed.”
The new music, a full-blown feel-good/dreamy-dance record, is planned to be released sometime in the fall of 2018, but the trio wants to amp up and draw in fans with singles being released up until that point. The first that was released yesterday, “In Touch,” is just a small snippet of what’s to come.
“We finished the lyric, melody, and arrangement in about 24 hours and produced a home demo of the song. The following day we recorded the final cut at the studio. To me, ‘In Touch’ is a tragicomedy. It’s a story that explores the gray area between love and obsession, and manipulation and paranoia.”
“In Touch” is an interesting mesh up of modern-day alt-pop influences like the 1975 and LANY with keeping in mind the greats of pop music like Fleetwood Mac, the Bee Gees and The Eagles.
“It's not necessarily too much of the pop music played today, but we are big fans of the formula that is the pop song that built things like Fleetwood Mac. We love late 70s and early 80s pop music. We really love bands with multiple songwriters in them like Fleetwood Mac. We love that idea of you can listen to a record and hear multiple voices, multiple things happening because there are two different people writing two different types of songs but still sound like the same band."
The new sound will definitely surprise the die-hard Teaheads fans out there, but not enough to make them want to walk away. The genre-crossing music is hard to categorize with the bulk being pop but with hints of rock, indie and dream-pop influences. The members detached from the band in 2016 for personal reasons. But, at the time, Teaheads was gaining attention and had already toured three times across the country. The two years was enough of a breather for Rigdon to recruit his childhood best-friend Travis Hall to start up the project with long-time bass player Nick Baker.
"Our first record that came out in 2015- I'd call it rock n' roll, some roots rock, folk and country music influence but not shitty country music. It was really singer-songwriter with an edge. For our second record, I was getting into a lot of jazz and 70s pop music but still kept a lot of rock n' roll. It was a lot more piano driven rather than guitar driven. Now, we are just pretty much writing pop songs. I don't want to say we've lost the edge because we still have some of that, but it's just a really polish operation," said Rigdon.
Below is a 30 second clip of the next single to be released called “I’m a Factory,” a really well-suited follow up to “In Touch.”
“'I'm a Factory' is two years old this month. It was the third song we wrote for the record. I wrote the main piano intro as some sort of answer to being obsessed with ‘What a Fool Believes’ for weeks on end, but the final production ended up far more Fleetwood Mac. This tune is basically a classic ‘I love you but this just isn't realistic’ number. It was written during some of the most unique circumstances of my life and will always represent the summer of 2016 to me.”
Although, Rigdon leaves us with that mysterious cliff-hanger, it’s a god damn undeniable bop. Holding songs like that for the past two years were one of the reasons he decided to start up Teaheads again.
"Having a bunch of songs and already having some momentum under Teaheads, it felt better and right to build off of that. What we're doing now is a good evolution of our last record, we're just doing it with new people. It's polished catchy music that we want people to dance to."
Teaheads hope the new music will grab the attention of some record labels and be able to tour later in the year. Rigdon dropped some names like The Aces, War on Drugs and HAIM as dream bands to tour with. But until then, make sure to follow the guys here and watch out for any updates.