Words: ROBIN MUMFORD
Freya Beer is the latest singer-songwriter to trial a new genre, releasing her debut album ‘Beast’ this week. It is a record of primal power and animalistic instinct, and it plays out like something you’ve never heard before, released in perfect fashion, right before the backdrop of the mysterious Halloween season.
Calculated in its vision and complex in its articulation, it serves as a cat-and-mouse chase through a labyrinth of literature, legend and loudness that lurks in the least-likely of places. Probing the unascertained characteristics of arch art-rock, the construction will convulse you with its seductive and spellbinding enigma before denouncing you into a relentless shadow of odious depths.
Among the plethora of sinister and grippingly enticing stories that Freya delineates in her lip-smacking debut is the opener ‘Beast’ - the title track. This song depicts the conflicting feelings that can shadow a sense of empowerment. The narrative voice that Freya expertly indulges in steps into the shoes of Lady Justice and takes the scales into her own hands. Its lyrics toy with our notions of lust and love, guilt and the truth, the milk of human kindness and the poison of power. It is a perfectly mixed potion of lyricism and expression.
The London-based musician stands as a paradigm of an exceptionally dexterous writer who has chosen to bless the music scene with her phenom, rather than trekking down the path of Britain’s cherished literature landscape. Her poetic lyrics are inspired by Charles Bukowski and Anne Sexton, while she underpins her distinctive gothic utterances with her Nick Cave and David Lynch inspired tendencies.
Throughout her debut piece, you will get the profound sense that Freya is very much tapped into her own emotions, as she regularly expresses her seemingly endless stream of spiritual intelligence. It is of rare occasion when an up-and-coming artist crows such self-assurance in their sound and image, but in Freya Beer’s case, everything that she stands for seems to have come so naturally to her.
Song writing is one thing but being able to capture the essence that floats around your mind during the process and piecing together a creation that perfectly illustrates what you desired is another. Although every song grasps an element of just this, ‘Secret Garden’ and ‘To the Heavens’ are two songs in the album that captured our attention immediately. They both epitomise that vividly expressive imagery that we will need to become accustomed to.
A lot of the songs found in ‘Beast’ chronicle that same energy as a horror movie script, acting as paradoxes to a world of fiction, distorted by real-world volition. Freya does well to add her own twist to typical trepidation by adding her own personal experiences, fortifying a debut construct that exceeds expectations and beguiles listeners into a pit of lucid nightmares.
Simply put, there isn’t a song within the release which drops below the required standard to be dubbed as a Freya Beer masterclass. From the images you will render during the listen to the hallucinations you may become bewitched to afterwards, ‘Beast’ is certain to cast a spell on you. **** 1/2