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 is a song which obtusely juxtaposes pedal steel, banjo and euphonium with a wry observational lyric about the absurdities of rock and roll lifestyles. “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!”
Released 14th October 2013
Order it here