English trio Teyr are back with their second studio album Estren, whose title is a Cornish word for ’stranger’ or ’newcomer’. In fact the main inspiration for this work are the themes of travel and emigration that are more and more relevant to our society.
The opening suite, divided into two tracks, Shannon Frisk Arrivals and Shannon Frisk Departures, is a beautiful connection to their previous release Far from the Tree as they reinforce their idiosyncratic multi-layered compositions with uilleann pipes, whistles, accordion, guitar and fiddle weaving to create unconventional harmonies.
The core themes that provided the inspiration for this album are evident from the choice of some of the titles and are poignantly explored in the expressive title track and in Gone is the Traveller. The latter is delivered on a string-led arrangement, a slow and soft substrate providing a darker mood, an unusual but highly effective musical experiment for this trio’s music.
If the songs are delivered with unmistakable depth and taste, the instrumental tracks in Estren show the level of maturity that this trio has reached in recent years without compromising their trademark sound. Threshold is the best example of this, with its warm tones, changes of pace, syncopated rhythms and slightly hypnotic result.
The huge number of guest stars, including guitarist and producer Ian Stephenson, bodhràn player Ted Sergent, clarinet player Hilary Coleman and fiddler Alastair Caplin, is the icing on the cake as the touch of these musicians perfectly merges with the harmonies that this close-knit trio produces. Take for instance the dynamic Kuusilta or the heartfelt An Tros.
An array of musical talent, the ability to alternate slow and evocative passages with steady or fast-paced tunes and a number of influences from across the British Isles make this album a must for contemporary folk music lovers and a promising springboard for the bright future that is ahead for this trio.Michele Mele
Released on 30 April 2021
1. Shannon Frisk Arrivals
2. Shannon Frisk Departures
5. Gone is the Traveller
6. La Bestia
7. The Drummer
8. Flower of the Sun
10. An Tros
11. Little Giants