I was at The Independent tonight with Elaine and Don and fewer than 100 other folks to see Teitur. Teitur Lassen is a 28 year old singer-songwriter from the Faroe Islands in Denmark and, as we discovered, he is amazing in concert. He sung alone with his guitar and also with his band (a drummer, a bass player, a violinist and Tobias Fröberg as a guest back-up singer). And, although it was Monday and the crowd was sparse, he delivered a performance that was both delicate and powerful.
I first heard a Teitur song in the summer of 2003 on KZSU and I was transfixed. I hunted down his just-released album Poetry and Aeroplanes (Amazon, iTunes) and have listened to its emotional and nuanced content scores of times since. Observant readers might have noticed that it is one of the discs “stuck in the cd player” and cuts from it have been mentioned in several postings.
Mysteriously, despite its very catchy melodies Poetry and Aeroplanes never received mainstream radio play, a fate that his sophomore effort may suffer as well. Stay Under the Stars (Amazon, iTunes) was released in the US on September 5th on Equator, a new label. It is an outstanding follow-up, and its music displays even greater maturity and a talent for lyric construction that is rare for performers of any age.
Standout tracks are Louis, Louis, Umbrellas in the Rain, All My Mistakes and the hidden Baby You Don’t Ever – and they all sounded better tonight than on the CD. However, I fear they may go ignored as music promotion is a strange business. It requires hard work (Teitur played more than 300 times in 2004) and quite a bit of luck, something Teitur has yet to receive in abundance here in the States. Sadly, the element he is most blessed with, talent, may matter the least. Perhaps one of his tunes will be selected to close an episode of Gray’s Anatomy or the O.C. and then he will become a household name.
Teitur’s North American tour wraps up this week with shows in Los Angeles tomorrow and Wednesday and a final performance in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday. If you are anywhere near The Largo or the Coach House, find a way to see him before he returns to Europe.
Watch the music video for Louis, Louis
The opening song from the show and my favorite from the new album:
Don't Want You to Wake Up