Freya Beer – Beast: Album Review

The debut album from Freya Beer is an aptly titled, confident and striking set of songs.

Freya Beer | The 1865

Release Date: 7th October 2021

Label: Sisterhood Records

Format: CD / digital

Don’t walk away when I’m talking to you.”

The first words of Beast, the first song on the first album from Freya Beer. A threat? A warning? Certainly a statement of intent that Beast is going to arrest and demand your attention.

Born in the lockdown, the contents of Beast are as dark and oppressive as the enforced restrictions of real life. Understandably, those in the know have commented upon her Anne Sexton/Charles Bukowski styled lyrical direction with the music styled in the of hypnotically intense direction taken by the likes of Nick Cave and David Lynch. There’s a debt to be paid to the silver screen in terms of narrative and the way Freay twists and turns such stories into something uniquely foreboding.

Stick a pin into the lyric book and you’ll find bruised fruits, guilty pleasures, secret gardens and talk of being dragged down by the waist and fetching a rope to set you free. The lure of the dark side is a constant presence, if not literally, in spirit, along with the mysterious Rosemary…

While the impression is of feeling claustrophobic and tight-chested, a compressed production increases the effect on Dear Sweet Rosie and Siren as the stripped down sound goes all raw and hypnotic. On the one hand, Freya is there squeezing the bones of the song, on the other we get huge and expansive sonic indulgence. From Punk to Post Rock, no musical style is off limits. If the glove fits, wear it. Siouxsie Sioux crosses paths with Kate Bush (you’d swear she’d popped up to sing “the heavens always make it work“) and Enya. You can possibly throw in a Joy Division aura with the live rawness on Beauty; the laconic vocal carried on a compressed and overdriven guitar and lack if indulgence.

Secret Garden reaches some of the heights we’ve been frazzled by in recent albums by A.A.Williams and Emma Ruth Rundle. A good album has suddenly had the adrenaline shot that intensifies the intensity. Like a barbed hook, there’s no way of wriggling free. The invitation to “please welcome my skeleton bones to your horror show” is one that it would be unwise to refuse. Likewise the haunting ambience on Pure whose sing-songiness is far from that.

Elements of empowerment with a Gothic undertone,” she says. Join Freya Beer on a trip to her secret garden.

Watch out for a set of UK dates in December.

Here’s the title track:

Freya Beer online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Youtube

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