Teepee started as a solo project for singer and guitarist Erix S. Laurent. "My original idea was to create 12 songs, all based around the 12 notes in music, and have each note drone throughout its corresponding song," he says. Laurent wanted to keep things simple. Using only a drum machine, keyboards, a guitar, and his voice, he formed a solid, low-key, droning, noise-pop sound.
"Working within such a limited musical structure allowed me to discover unique chord progressions, colors, and melodies. Eventually, I'd become hypnotized by the repetitious nature of what I created." So he dropped the idea of writing only a dozen songs and added blues garage duo Deaf Poets' Sean Wouters on guitar and Nicolas Espinosa on drums, as well as keyboardist Corey Perez.
For the past two years, Laurent has been working with producer Albert Ovadia to create Teepee's upcoming album, Distant Love or: Time Never Meant Anything, and Never Will. "There were so many special moments both in and out of the studio that really made the album transform into something worth listening to," the songwriter says. "I'm thankful to have worked with Albert because he showed me how to treat an album as an art form." Laurent is also working as a producer himself for local artist Red Traces. He jokes, "Otherwise, I'm mentally preparing for the insanity of promoting my new record."
The first single off the album, "Time Meant Nothing," is currently online, but Teepee is releasing it as a collectable seven-inch with South Florida label the Revera Corporation. Laurent promises, "It's going to be gorgeous." The song is about a relationship's demise due to the man's love for his art. With his love turning more toward art and away from her, he says, "she's becoming weaker and sicker without his love while he's growing selfishly stronger." Dark and gothic. Nice. "When I hear solo classical piano pieces," the singer says, "it always reminds me of solitude, which is a theme I love. I wanted to write a song that captured that feeling but with orchestral drums mixed with Joe Meeks hit 'Telstar.' Originally, 'Time Meant Nothing' was going to be an instrumental similar to 'Telstar,' but my girlfriend at the time insisted that I write lyrics. Well, I guess I should thank her for that."
They will release Distant Love or: Time Never Meant Anything, and Never Will at the end of the year, "hopefully before the end of the world," he jokes, maybe sometime around when Art Basel descends upon Miami. Though Laurent says that sonically it's cleaner and better-produced than his 2009 album, Morals, "There's still plenty of noise and drone for the fans who have supported me since day one," adding, "I wanted to create an album that better showcased my maturity as a songwriter. While it will undoubtedly appeal to a larger audience, I definitely think even my die-hard noise fans will find something to cherish with this release."
We can likely expect an ambitious late summer tour from the guys of Teepee, with both solo in-store and full-band concert performances.