March 19. 2012 | By Jason Martinez

On his Twitter bio, Jim Smith, who records under the name Teeel, describes himself as a “dreamwave synthpop robot.” Like any mechanical creation that truly wants to come to life, he carries a soulful beating heart beneath his slick, shiny exterior.

Teeel’s second album, University Heights, showcases Smith’s knowledge that great songs should be built on the bones of strong melodies, the meat of catchy hooks. The songs are strong enough to appeal to music fans who may usually steer away from any genre with “wave” in its name. With sharp, sometimes icy synthwork and dark, foreboding guitars, University Heights manages to reference the past while still looking to the future.

If his appearances at SXSW left you wanting more, University Heights is available now on Synthemesc Records.

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