As a casual music blogger there are thousands and thousands of talented artists who I know nothing about, who I have never heard of until I stumble upon them or some publicist sends me a link or press release. Such is the case of my lack of knowledge of the talented Teitur who is a Faroese musician from Torshavn in the Faroe Islands which is a part of Denmark Kingdom. Yes Kingdoms are still around as a political designation. In any event, Teitur has been making cool sounds since 2003, put out some stellar albums that have garnered praise in the UK and his homeland and all around.
His latest Album is dropping early in October. It is entitled "Story Music" and boasts a song called "It's Not Funny Anymore" with an orchestral arrangement by the man himself Van Dyke Parks. If you do not know who he is then shame on you. I am looking forward to hearing this new album from a talented Danish fellow who I didn't know existed 20 minutes ago. Isn't life grand.
Check out this beautiful live performance of the upcoming album's lead single called "Rock and Roll Band" and then if you are a reader- read from the informative press release were you will find a link to the aforementioned single's Official Video.
Nice to have finally met you Teitur.
Teitur (Tie-tor), left his homeland, the remote, beautiful, wild and weather beaten Faroe Islands in the far North Atlantic as a teenager. He was convinced that if he wanted to follow his dream of making his own music he had to go somewhere with the access to the technology and musical professionalism that he felt wasn’t available at home.
Ten years after the release of his first album, he has come full circle returning both to home and his musical roots to record his sixth album Story Music, (released in the UK on October 14th 2013). Those ten years and his experiences gave him the conviction that he had to make his next record on The Faroes. April of this year saw Teitur recording in the brand new Studio Bloch in Torshavn, recently built by his long time sound engineer Jonas Bloch Danielsen in a 130 year old former ice factory. He had a collection of songs and compositions, with which he says he set out to challenge the conventions of pop songwriting.
“So much of new pop music doesn’t have any social awareness. It’s like a sweet sugary snack that gives you a quick rush that is soon gone. I feel that the music we like defines who we are.” This is a theme he explores on the songs Indie Girl and the lead single Rock and Roll Band (available now to download on iTunes) is a song which obtusely juxtaposes pedal steel, banjo and euphonium with a wry observational lyric about the absurdities of rock and roll lifestyles. (View the video on http://youtu.be/oPf6DdwP_qo). “I wanted the album to come from a good place and to continue the analogy, provide something organic and nourishing, many of the tracks are stories, told through lyrics or music. Music as wholefood!”
Eschewing conventional form and structure on songs like If You Wait and Monday, which has, amongst other random features, a spoken word and a choir chanting the title against a freeform modernist and jazz influenced composition. On the other hand Teitur hasn’t forgotten his pop roots, many of the tracks showcase his knack for combining lush mournful melodies with memorable instrumental hooks. Also integral to the sound are the folk influences of his youth. More than 70 musicians and singers ranging in age from 8-80 were brought together for the recording, with choirs, especially on Hard Work that are reminiscent of classic Disney songs.
Set in the middle of the album, like a sparkling jewel is It’s Not Funny Anymore a song written with long-time collaborator Pam Sheyne. The song features an epic orchestral arrangement by the legendary Van Dyke Parks whose fifty year career encompasses a host of classic compositions and arrangements, including many with Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. Parks had met Teitur when they were on the same bill in Athens, Georgia and wrote to him to say how much he had enjoyed the performance, expressing the hope that they might work together. “The song seemed to call out for an orchestral arrangement, so I sent the track over to LA for Van Dyke’s thoughts. I was blown away when he said he wanted to do it and by the score that he sent back, which we went on to record in Holland. I like it when you don’t know what’s going to happen next and the track provides a perfect pivotal point for the album.”Said Mr Parks of Teitur : "Teitur's music reminds me why I go nuts over island music.
Winning Teitur's trust isn't just funny business--it's an honor to orchestrate for such an accomplished composer. Teitur is, in fact, totally continental!"
In 2003, Teitur released his first album, Poetry & Aeroplanes, produced by Rupert Hine (Suzanne Vega, Kevin Ayres et al.) Its simple, sincere songs made it a critical hit and he toured the USA and Canada extensively and attracted the attention of respected singer-songwriters like Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann and KT Tunstall all of whom took him on tour. During this time, he found the time to co-write a song Choux Pastry Heart which featured on the 4 million selling debut album by Corinne Bailey Rae.
In 2006, he released his second album Stay Under The Stars, a record full of richer writing and bolder characters, which went Gold in Denmark and two Danish Grammies followed. By 2008, he had 700 gigs in 20 countries under his belt, which earned him the reputation of one of the hardest working International artists on the road.
Third album, The Singer, recorded in a Swedish Princess’s house in Gotland, was released in 2008 in Europe and early 2009 in the UK, his first album to be issued in Britain. Garnering five star reviews in The Guardian ("deep, viscous stuff that is never less than extraordinary") and The Independent ("a rare beast"), while the Sunday Times praised the singer-songwriter's " wonderfully idiosyncratic talent".
Then in October 2009, the UK only release album 'All My Mistakes', which was a retrospective of Teitur's career to date. Achieving his second Album of The Week in The Independent, Andy Gill wrote of the album: “..there's more than enough evidence here to bear out Teitur's assertion, in the title-track, that "all my mistakes have become masterpieces".
Teitur continued his eclectic career path, co-writing and performing with American contemporary film musician Nico Muhly (who scored the film The Reader), and by writing for and producing other artists, including French star Nolwenn.
During 2010, he recorded his again acclaimed album Let the Dog Drive Home in Denmark. Betty Hedges was the first UK single while in the rest of the world “You Never Leave L.A.” was the lead, accompanied by an astounding animated video. A worldwide tour followed over the next 18 months. In the meantime, Seal recorded Teitur’s song “You Get Me” as a duet with Italian superstar Mina and then recorded it for his own album, which was a top 20 hit around the world.
Teitur released a 4 track EP in September 2012 entitled Four Songs. These solo recordings, were featured during a world tour which ran from September to January 2013 and also served to try out and develop the news songs written for Story Music. In November, Teitur took a break to tour Holland with the famous Dutch wind orchestra, the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, performing the music to the short film, Everyday Song, which he commissioned and was screened simultaneously.
The first single, Rock and Roll Band is out now and the album Story Music will be released on October 14th, on Arlo and Betty Recordings, via Believe for digital and Kartel/Proper for Physical.
Previous peer and critical praise for Teitur:
“Teitur is the sound of melting ice, haunted woods, and beautiful honesty” KT Tunstall
“Music like this is jet fuel on the fire of a broken heart.” John Mayer
“Do we need another ludicrously talented Scandinavian singer-song writer? Yes.”Word Magazine
"...Never less than extraordinary" ***** The Guardian
“..A rare beast..” ***** The Independent“..Sublimely gifted, Teitur brings the beauty and the blues that recall Guillemots, Josh Rouse and a heart pummeling Sufjan Stevens..” NME