Teitur - The Singer
Teitur is from the Faroe Islands. Hmm, My frame of reference is limited here but I know that it is a fairly small, isolated, weather beaten place and that even Wales can generally beat them at football. God, that sounds grim, so I approach an album of vignettes from the life of a resident with some trepidation.
The fear is quickly dispelled upon a quick scan of the cover notes; an album featuring Bassoon, Euphonium and Marimba will not let me down. In parts, such as the fragile You should have seen us, the sense of isolation is palpable; listening to it I’m almost afraid to move for fear of shattering the song into ice crystals. There’s more to the Teitur armoury than bleak isolation though and the enigmatic Catherine the Waitress is delivered to a woozy fairground soundtrack which is as uplifting as anything you’ll hear all year.
The album sounds amazing and has the organic charm missing from the pro-tools generation. He didn’t record it on the Faroes but, eschewing the Bahamas, he went to Gotland, an even more isolated, weather beaten island off the coast of Sweden! He may be a masochist but his voice is astonishing, and the interplay between his words and the sparse arrangements is sublime. This is the very definition of folk music and yet the commercial potential here is massive, think Coldplay minus the bombast and plus some decent lyrics and you are halfway there. This is an album which tackles the eternal themes of life, love and death in a minor key and I pray that the inevitable success which awaits doesn’t dilute his soul.
During title track The Singer he muses on the fact that people break into tears for reasons I don’t know, concluding that they just want to understand me and I sing to be loved. This could be the record that delivers on that wish.