E s t a r a, the sophomore studio album by Teebs, sounds like your seven-year-old self looking out the window on a rainy springtime Saturday. There’s this satisfaction in the idea of staying inside to play with blocks, fixated on building layer upon layer while the patter of rain and the rustling of branches remind you that you’re not out playing with your friends. The thunder casually rolls in and out, but it isn’t one of those days that makes the dog hide under the bed. E s t a r a is content being a little sad, but in the most enjoyable way possible.
The musicality of the album is superb. The layers are unique and they blend harmoniously. Teebs not only put things where they “fit,” but he put them where they belong. The traditional instrumentals are supplemented with nature sounds: birds chirping, water falling and sparse, dreamy lyrics that sound as if they come from the trees themselves. The end product is songs that feel cool and even a bit damp.
Most of the songs on E s t a r a go with the melancholy, rainy day vibe, but then “SOTM” lifts things up toward the middle of the album. Calculated tempo increases like in “SOTM” and “Hi Hat (Ft. Populous)” keep the listener from complete despair, while still staying true to the mood that Teebs has created.
Every now and again, there’s nothing better than a rainy day spent indoors. Next time plans get cancelled due to rain, skip watching The Princess Bride for the millionth time and turn up E s t a r a and listen to Teebs play with his blocks.