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At a glance, Tev Nicolas’ art gives the air of an aloof, childlike, and wondrous persona, but a closer look reveals a detailed mind working meticulously behind each creation. Their work is a sincere examination of simple concepts, composed like a series of avant-pop nursery rhymes with a stage presence and artistic approach that reads as a crass meeting between of Montreal and Swans.
A longtime multimedia artist, Tev’s background stems from producing in every sense of the word, from large ensemble performances to compositions to music videos, Tev uses visual art to support their music and vice-versa. 2020’s Nosemilk was a dada-inspired look at concepts such as love, friendship, and the indoors presented with a sort of naive tone. Tev’s signature includes a grotesque look at the human body, specifically hands, mouths, and limbs combined with their genderless voice over a wide array of instruments.
In contrast, their newest project takes an outward, more burdened look on the outside world. This double album, a grand culmination of Tev’s whole experience and artistic talent, shows a more mature, despondent, and realist shift in tone while still retaining the same playful nature Tev has shown in all of their art. The result is a droning, almost grungy sound with whimsical elements played over darker tones featuring Tev’s lax, yet considered, vocals, pock-marked with the occasional scream.
Tev combines various artistic mediums such as puppetry, makeup, digital art, and a sweeping cast of instruments to build a grand ensemble of pieces that feel carelessly composed but still organic and detailed. Each element is constructed with the other in mind, but done in a process that serves a greater image. Tev lives and works in a community of artists, performing with a wide arrangement of similar-minded musicians known as The Volunteer Orchestra. Tev’s eventual goal is to have their own workshop to house and create their upcoming works.
Tev’s double album [UNTITLED] will be released on [TBA] under [TBA], engineered by Stone Herman with accompanying videos for [TBA]. It will be their largest project of theirs to date, and will be supported by a variety of performances in LA and [TBA]. - Emme Worthy