Monday, October 20, 2014

“Poetry And Aeroplanes,” by Teitur

Teitur’s pitch-perfect debut album, Poetry And Aeroplanes, would be the playlist Spotify would create for me, with its technical, robotic tonal algorithms. It’s a startlingly flawless embodiment of my sonic character. It feeds me. I return to Poetry And Aeroplanes often. It will always be a part of my life. It’s my aural DNA. If I were a musician, the tender songs on Teitur Lassen’s debut album would likely be the kind of music I would create.

Poetry And Aeroplanes tip-toed onto the music scene 11 years ago, in 2003, amidst monster radio hits by the likes of 50 Cent, Beyonce’, and Black Eyed Peas (who I met when they played a show where I used to work, just a few weeks before their single, “Where Is The Love?” blew up and made them a household name, and that night they expected me to drive them around Chicago into the wee hours after their performance. Yeaaaah...that didn’t happen. Sorry, Will. I. Am. not sorry), and while not making a big splash in North America, Teitur’s album certainly garnered the attention of key music industry insiders, including John Mayer, who wrote about the album, "…it may be one of the best albums to come around in the last five years...Music like this is jet fuel on the fire of a broken heart. Even if you think the flame has died, there's at least one lyric that'll hit that last hot spot, and then you'll find yourself as fucked as you were the day you lied and said you never wanted to see her again. Enjoy." Well said, Mr. Mayer. In fact, with radio trends o’ that moment belonging to the above-mentioned celebrities, this humble little record didn’t stand a chance. Who was going to hear it and how? Nobody was playing it.

Teitur’s mellow-gold styled, heartbreaking, melodic debut album has been a mainstay in my house since my partner and I serendipitously discovered it in a discount CD bin in 2004. Not joking: I bought it because I thought the cover art was cool, and it was a dollar, and what did I have to lose? The album is a modern take on the evergreen singer-songwriter stylings of the late 1960’s – early 1970’s, and as such, the album sounds remarkably fresh 11 years after its release, in spite of its modern musical embellishments. Teitur’s songs remind me of a combination of Nick Drake (“Pink Moon”), Al Stewart (“Year Of The Cat”), and Paul Simon (“Something So Right”). Quiet, contemplative, and navel-gazey (in the best, possible way). The lyrics range from tales of nervous courtship (“One And Only,” “Let’s Go Dancing,” “Shade Of A Shadow,” “To Meet You”) to productivity inhibiting, crying in my latte heartbreak (all the rest), with the lovesick protagonist probing minutiae connected to every painful memory.

Teitur’s tunes on Poetry And Aeroplanes are melodic, every one, which is part of why this record is so tasty and memorable (and hummable). It’s a whispered tour de force, and it deserves a spot in everyone’s music library.

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