Teitur, Emily Scott

Helen Newbery 01/06/2009

Opening for Teitur at the Cabaret Voltaire tonight is local artist Emily Scott, joined onstage by Damon Thompson on guitar. Lyrically much of her output is inspired by nature; days take flight and bees glisten in the sun. Many of the songs played this evening showcase her recently released second album abcdefg...etc... She's clearly an accomplished musician, her complex melodies accompanied by a sparse yet rich double bass sound, and also an engaging personality, giggling between songs. What sets her apart, however, is her voice: deep and lush, it is destined to melt even the hardest of hearts.

Many things feel faintly incongruous about Swedish singer-songwriter Teitur. For starters, he hails from the remote Faroe Islands, and then there's the fact that he and his band members look more like Teutonic tax accountants than touring musicians. Any doubts about their talents, however, are dismissed as soon as they begin playing, with the formidable voice of Teitur accompanied by an array of instruments, often swapped between band members. Musically, they are very difficult to categorise, as cabaret-style torch songs alternate with harder-edged numbers. One thing which is crystal clear, however, is that we are in the presence of an artist who believes totally and absolutely in the process of what he does. It is also apparent that his is a remarkable songwriting talent. Some of Teitur's songs are simply heartbreaking, such as the self-explanatory Funeral Song, and break-up lament We Still Drink The Same Water. It's the more upbeat songs which get the fans (of whom there seem to be a surprising number) singing along, however, with the irrepressibly catchy Catherine the Waitress and Louis Louis standing out in particular. He's also an entertaining host, weaving stories about his songs' geneses, which included a stay on the island of Gotland in order to record his album The Singer. The latter is, incidentally, deeply impressive, its gorgeous packaging reinforcing the impression that here is an artist who likes to do things properly.