What do you do when you find yourself in a rural Finnish cabin surrounded by lakes, trees, bags of fresh air and not a lot else? You could always have a sauna followed by a bracing dip in the lake. No doubt Teyr did, for that was the situation back in 2018 which led to initial attempts at recording tracks for this album.
Previously the trio had released their first in 2016 emerging from Cornwall with a love of the county its language and heritage, a self-confident item it left an impression. So pandemic not withstanding here’s their sophomore effort ‘Estren,’ Cornish for stranger. An underlying theme of travel and flow, emphasised by songs to do with emigration (the title track,) jigs and melodies that echo arrivals and departure, traditional shots which talk about roving with the army and a whole lot of Finnish landscape lit by sunrises/sunsets.
A list of guests as long as your arm flesh out the basic trio with string ensembles which never intrude over the guitar, pipes and accordion, though our heroes are all multi instrumentalists adding whistles, electric guitar and synths in places. You can’t accuse them of standing still in the slightest. Chiefly recorded by producer Ian Stephenson who Svengali like oversees it all adding bass, more electric guitar and chunky rhythms, he’s made sure the whole hangs together neatly with no frayed edges.
Five years might seem like a long time between records but Teyr have been busy progressing both their music and their finesse. I doubt you’ll see a better packaged object this year either, the cover and booklet are thick with photos, details, translations and the proverbial much more. All round rather good says I.