TEYR – Far From the Tree

Album Review | Sleight of Hand | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

After two years of honing their craft on the road, the London-based Irish, Welsh and Cornish trio Teyr (which means three in Cornish) have bestowed upon us an album of exquisite quality and uncompromising energy.  Far From the Tree presents ten works of sculptural beauty that demand our attention from note to note.  Opening with “Reeds & Fipple”, a delicately layered instrumental which introduces us to the guitar, pipes and accordion of James Gavin, Dominic Henderson and Tommie Black-Roff, the album gives way to the rousing song “Banks of Newfoundland” from the Canow Kernow (Songs of Cornwall) which showcases the trio’s impressive vocal prowess and ability to craft an intricate and beguiling masterpiece out of an otherwise simple folk song.  The format remains much the same throughout the album, with sinuous folk tunes such as the sweetly rolling “The Badge” and breathlessly energetic GM giving way to painterly renditions of traditional songs such as “False Lady” and “Huntley Town”.  Despite the consistently brooding presence of traditional song and melody, however, the album benefits from a handful of original pieces such as “Nothing Grows” with lyrics from Irish poet Stephen Muldoon and James Gavin’s exhilarating “Dean’s Banjo” which closes this astounding debut album with a warmly effervescent crescendo.