Album Review / TEYR: Estren

Ah but here’s a nice one! And it’s from a band about to really break in the Celtic scene: some of you may already know them but others may not have heard about them too much yet. I’m betting you will, in no time.

TEYR’s sites tell us the band comes from the London folk scene but there are plenty of hints that point to Cornwall, including the band’s name and this album’s title: both are Cornish words and mean “three” and “stranger”, respectively. However, as was the case with their debut album a few years ago, the music covers the aural folk landscape of the British Isles, from Land’s End to Skye and beyond.

Stylistically, we are very much in the Contemporary Celtic/British framework, ie. original tunes with roots very deep in the landscape. What I like a lot about these guys is the strength of their sound; even when they play as a basic trio – there are a few guest musos on several of the album’s tracks – they come across as big and solid. The brilliant Barrule (from the Isle of Man) come to mind in this respect, likewise the equally great Dallahan. I’d say if you like either or both of those, run screaming to TEYR, you will love this stuff!

One aspect of Estren I really enjoy is how it’s both cohesive and and varied at once. For me, it plays out as a unified work with tunes as several movements or acts that each have a strong individual character. There are hi-energy groove pieces like the opening Shannon Frisk Arrivals, finely constructed and arranged ballads like Gone Is The Traveller, folk songs like The Drummer. And there’s also this fascinating art folk piece called Kuunsilta; I immediately reacted to that because the title is a Finnish word (!) and means “Moon Bridge”. As there are no other references to Finland on the album, I must assume someone in the TEYR camp has a connection to my humble country. And it’s a very nice piece of music, too. As is the entire Estren 🙂


Get your own copy of Estren on the TEYR Bandcamp site – you’ll get great music and support the band directly at the same time!

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