Pioneering vocal octet Roomful of Teeth will release its eponymous debut album October 30th on New Amsterdam Records. Founded in 2009 by director Brad Wells, the ensemble consists of eight classically trained vocalists dedicated to re-imagining singing in the 21st century. Through their study with vocal masters of singing traditions from all over the globe–including Tuvan throat singing, belt and pop techniques, yodeling, Inuit throat singing, and styles from Sardinia and Korea–Roomful of Teeth boasts an astounding dexterity that makes it “unlike anything you’ve ever seen before” (WBUR Boston).
Roomful of Teeth’s (eponymous) debut album features seven composers who each incorporate the ensemble’spolystylistic virtuosity in unique ways. From Rinde Eckert’s neo-alpine yodel “Cesca’s View” to Caleb Burhans’s post-minimalist take on bel canto singing in “No”, the album breathes fresh life into the a cappella landscape. One of this generation’s most dynamic vocal talents, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, contributes two stunning compositions. Garbus’s tunes find a range of world-inspired grooves, from African pygmy yodels, Inuit rhythmic pulsing, and Appalachian hymn tunes to bracing eastern European belting, all filtered throughher powerful compositional voice. Composer-to watch Caroline Shaw uses her insider vantage as a Roomful of Teeth vocalist to create four sonically exquisite and emotionally charged journeys through the ensemble’s soundworld. New Amsterdam co-directors Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and William Brittelle each contribute debut pieces highlighting Roomful’s blazingly unique skill set.
The ensemble’s debut album has already received significant press coverage, including being recently featured on NPR’s Deceptive Cadence, where Merrill Garbus’ Quizzassa can be heard. In addition, it has been featured as album of the week on WQXR’s Q2, where the full album can be streamed for free.
For more info on the album, check it out here at New Amsterdam Records.