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REVIEW: THE TEALEAVES - THE TEALEAVES
The Tealeaves

The Tealeaves
The Tealeaves

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No More Can You Be Here

The Tealeaves
No More Can You Be Here

Kate O'Reilly, thescene.com.au 2010
These guys and girls from Melbourne, consisting of James van Cuylenburg, Jess Wilson, Paul Davies, David Schmidt, Rochelle Bryson, David Prideaux and Jeremey Hopkins have their first Full length album on the way, to be launched on Friday the 26th of February at The East Brunswick Club. The Tealeaves are a folk band to be reckoned with, tightly delivering track after beautiful track.

The opening track ‘Barefoot and Beautiful’ is instantly exciting; you turn up the volume and get ready for a smothering of gorgeous folk. The second track ‘Travelling Far’ uses a violin to deliver a sweet harmony chorus and cheery violin that instantly lifts you up, some of the lyrics are a bit ancient- “Do you remember the dreamers, the poets, the scribes?” but like me, you might’ve imagined medieval garb and dancing barefoot. The third track gets a bit slower and quieter, and creates a wonderful ode to the glockenspiel delivering a lovely track ‘The Little Ones’. By this time their sweetness is so overpowering you could get a toothache. Perhaps then, the Tealeaves only flaw is that they have such a ‘lovely’ sound, that they might find people find it hard to take them seriously.  For a first album however, this is pretty killer.

The fourth track ‘Its Only Time’ is truly amazing opening with a plonking piano and vocals reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel. A downfall of having such an amazing song like ‘Its Only Time’ is that it might overshadow other songs. This track was written not by The Tealeaves, but by Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields fame. ‘Faded into the Night’ slaps the tambourine along to a head bopping number, the hand clapping is very cute and it’s definitely a track that’s hard to get out of your head. The next track ‘Unspoken’ is amazing once again; the lyrics are moving, the violin and harp are extraordinary, but the additional pace of a folk guitar and brush drums, restrict it within the folk genre a little. When you have a complete mastery of so many different instruments (like The Tealeaves do), stripping them back sounds amazing, whereas repetitiveness and too many aural gems in one track might get overbearing to some people’s ears. They do this on songs like ‘I Come Undone’ and ‘Josh’ where they use just a violin or guitar and let the perfect vocals of James van Cuylenburg take you over.

These guys and girls have a real power, and they will definitely move people with all their mastered talents, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for movements from this bunch, because they’re on their way up.



Bianca Carmona, The Progress Leader Feb 26 2010

THEY’VE been described as an explosion of smiles and deft musicianship’’.The indie-folk Tealeaves havemade a name for themselves since their 2008 stage debut with a unique mix of melancholy indiepop through to upbeat melodies. Lead vocalist James van Cuylenburg described their sound as ‘‘new wave indie folk’’ inspired by the likes of Cat Stevens and Simon and Garfunkel.We have a lot of upbeat numbers and some quieter ones; I hope the songs are relatively emotional,’’ van Cuylenburg, 28, said.
The original leaf, van Cuylenburg gathered the group together in 2008. The Kew singer/songwriter didn’t have to look far – band members include housemates David Schmidt and Paul Davies as well as friends Jess Wilson, Dave Prideaux, Rochelle Bryson and Jeremy Hopkins. They play an impressive range of instruments including bass, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, piano accordion, percussion, violin and drums. With seven musicians in the band, van Cuylenburg said there was surprisingly little conflict.Its crowded and we’re a mixer’s nightmare, but we’re all friends and there’s a real feeling of harmony, probably because of the kind of musicwe do.


Dom Allesio, Triple J
“Beautiful Stuff”

The Age EG
The Tealeaves are an irresistibly winsome local indie pop outfit recalling early Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and even Billy Joel when writing their best stuff and firing on all acoustic cylinders. 

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“My impression is one of a very tight unit that delivers serene folk music of high order. I would think any keen music lover would enjoy the stripped back songs and vibrant, up tempo numbers in any venue as a feel-good musical moment. The girls and guys in the band all display worthy talent and it should take them a long way if this first album is any indication.”



Beat Magazine (Melbourne)
“The Tealeaves’ debut album is riddled with comforting melodies and an aesthetic replete with sun and beauty… Throughout it all, James van Cuylenburg’s delicate vocals imbue the narrative of love and yearning with empathy and passion, the occasional appearance of violin and piano accordion add an extra element to the already elegant songwriting. ”



BMA Magazine (Canberra)
“This collection is light, sweet as cider and crisp as a virgin paperback, with simple but very appealing melodies inspired by the pop of the ‘60s and ‘70s.”
“The songs cover a panorama of emotions including joy, loss, comfort, devotion and goodbyes, yet the overall message is one of uplifting happiness.”
“The Melbourne septet…features the crisp vocals of James Van Cuylenburg and Jess Wilson. Singing singly they shine; in duets such as It’s Only Time, they sparkle. And the album is full of brilliant harmonies that magnify the passion expressed in the songs, as seen in the heart warming Beside Me.”

Drum Media (Sydney)
“The Tealeaves have created peaceful ballads that are sentimental yet have soul, sitting somewhere east of Simon and Garfunkel via the synth-acoustic style that is their own charming and breezy individuality.”