ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
John Mayer digs Teitur’s laid-back style
By Ash Wittig
Gazette file photo
DO YOU LOOK SO BEMUSED, TEITUR? Maybe it’s because your name
is Teitur... how intriguing.
Twenty seven-year-old Teitur, native to the Faroe Islands of Denmark, is the
fresh face of laid-back music. His song style is similar to that of John Mayer
and Jack Johnson, yet Teitur somewhat reinvents the genre to create a more
“Growing up, I heard lots of music from people singing around me, mostly
folk music, so that’s where some of my influences come from,” Teitur
The Faroe Islands are populated by a mere 45,000 people and music is a very
social aspect of the culture. Instead of listening to the radio, they gather
in each other’s homes, or even out on the street to sing and play their
English being his third language, Teitur displays more than an exceptional
ability to write aching ballads about loving, losing, searching and finding.
Involved in music since the age of 13, Teitur claims his most influential
artists are Leonard Cohen and Sting, and his voice can take on a Sting-esque
lilt in some of his songs, including “Josephine” and “One
The new favourite music amongs 20-somethings seems to be heading in the more
laid-back direction. “[This is] just an added bonus. It’s becoming
popular but this music has always been there — just more people are interested
in it now,” he says, adding most music today has the same feel. “It’s
melancholy in general; even hard rock bands are melancholy.”
Teitur’s debut album, Poems and Aeroplanes, was influenced by his years
of travelling around the world, from London to New York and beyond. “I
was writing songs and shaping my sound through influences by many different
people that I’ve met along my travels,” he explains.
The title of the album “seemed like the proper title for all the songs,
they all kind of have this story in them.” As for how he hopes it is
received: “I just like people to feel different.”
For anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to the sweet, honeyed voice
of Teitur, they will know it is a very touching and intimate experience. To
create this feeling of closeness, Teitur employs many tactics.
“When I write, I normally like to address someone in particular or just
imagine that I’m having a conversation with that person. I imagine things
I’d like to say to that person whether it is someone I hate, or someone
I love, or someone I’m trying to seduce, and I get it all out.”
Another reason his music may sound so intimate is that when he was recording
in the studio, his producer, Robert Hine, made a set list for him to play with
just an acoustic guitar. Most songs on the album are these original recordings,
overlaid by musical accompaniment.
Teitur has been steadily gaining exposure recently, especially considering
his opening slot on John Mayer’s tour.
“It was very cool,” he says. “I’m not used to playing
in front of an audience of that size. [Mayer] really likes my music and he
actually invited me to play with him, and that makes me feel very good.”
What’s on the musical horizon for Teitur? “I want to get more
involved arrangements with lots of instruments next time. I want it to be very
He explains that he is already working on new music: “I’m writing
a lot of songs and it’s tending to get darker. I’m just going to
see what happens and let the writing go in whatever direction it takes me.”
Teitur played London’s Elements Lounge on Feb. 11. His debut album is
currently in stores.