Austin musicians Peter Shults and Josh Halpern (Shearwater, Marmalakes and more) initially viewed Teddy Glass as "a recording experiment, to mess with some different sounds." It's turned into a full-fledged band with a debut album, Nights and Weekends, due out Aug. 24 — including the track "Doveskin," which premieres exclusively below.
"Josh and I have played together in a number other bands around Austin, and we found that we have some natural chemistry," Shults tells Billboard. "We were writing some tunes that didn't really belong in any the other groups we were in, so we started writing some our own. That's how it started to evolve, and it's been a little over two years doing this as the two us."
Shults and Halpern have watched Teddy Glass — the band name is "an amalgamation characters from the world J.D. Salinger," one Shults' primary muses — grow from "a little more a folky thing" into something more smoothly polished, incorporating elements pop and R&B with plenty hooks. Shults doesn't even balk when it's likened to Yacht Rock.
"I grew up listening to a lot Motown and R&B and had yet to incorporate those influences into my writing," Shults explains. "That's been a goal for awhile, and I paired it with a transition I was making into playing more electric guitar, which allowed me to start writing in some different ways." Nights and Weekends also gave Shults a home for "Doveskin," a track he wrote as part a songwriting challenge with colleagues around the country.
"'Doveskin' came around about the time Prince passed (April 2016), and I think I was influenced by him being on my mind and trying to get a little more his vibe going into it," Shults recalls. "It was a fun song because it was more like a word problem than something I would typically sit down and write for myself. It's pretty playful in that regard — and surprising to me."
Shults and Halpern have turned Teddy Glass into a live concern, too. The group toured the west coast recently and, with commitments to their other bands for the rest the year, are looking at going out again during 2019. "At the beginning this recording process there was an effort to do a little less collaborative a thing, but then some my favorite moments on the records are moments I captured from other players," Shults says. "I think you can get really used to the way we sound ourselves, so there's something more exciting when somebody plays and comes up with something you wouldn't have just on your own."