It’s been a while since I showed my face around these parts. We are into the 3rd month of 2018 already, can you believe it (white rabbits and pinch/punch etc)? 1st March is St David’s Day so I made this mini list of 5 Welsh beauties for a Valleys boy I know and thought I’d share it with you too. Let me know what you think.
Estrons – I’m Not Your Girl
I owe you guys a huge debt. Especially Panther, Shane and VW for going on about Slowcoaches at the back-end of last year. Had you not and had I not gone out of my way to listen to them and other bands like them, I’d have likely never stumbled upon Estrons (I think this translates as either Strangers or Misfits – but happy to be corrected). This Cardiff based outfit are on blistering form on this track, I’m Not Your Girl. It’s a feisty take on insecurity and relationship nonsense. It’s loud, it’s catchy and I’ve had it on continuous loop for many weeks now. I’m gutted to have missed them at my local sweat box in September. Also look out for other ace tracks from them; Glasgow Kiss and Make a Man.
Trampolene – Beautiful Pain
A former regular at RR, TracyK (@perlalaloca) and possibly here too is doing a weekly mixtape project over on Twitter. She kicked off the project with her own mix which is where I first heard this track by Trampolene. In fact, I’m ashamed to say, it was the first time I’d heard anything by them; it seems they’ve been around a while. Hailing from Swansea, their debut album, Swansea to Hornsea, features Beautiful Pain. It’s a lovely, dream-pop number telling the heart-rending ache of falling in love. The lead singer also dabbles in spoken word performance and the album features some of his poetry. As an aside, the poem called Ketamine reminded me of a story a friend told me about his experience with the said substance and made me smirk at his stupid dabbling.
The Gentle Good – The Fisherman
The Gentle Good is Cardiff multi-instrumentalist Gareth Bonelio and winner of last year’s Welsh Music Prize for his album Ruins/Adfeilion. Again, another artist I’d never heard of. He’s a folk musician with a Johnny Flynn sound about him. The Fisherman, is about loneliness and isolation and apparently a nod to American author Richard Brautigan whose classic beat novel Trout Fishing In America happens to be next on my pile of books to read.
Toby Hay – Claerwen
I love the sleeve art for Toby Hay’s album of instrumental tracks, Gathering. It speaks of wilderness, nature and wide open spaces. The commune between man and beast. All the tracks by the mid-welsh folk musician have a mystical quality to them. Listening to this one is like wandering through a meadow in summertime, watching the dust motes catch the sun sparkles and the dandelion seeds take off on the breeze. It’s beautifully dreamy.
Candelas – Llwytha’r Gwn
I can’t recall how I first came across Candelas, but I absolutely love this song. Just as when I listen to Gwenno, I have no clue what they are singing about, but I know I like it. There is something very sexy about a duet when the voices compliment each other even when they are so different. This song fits that bill for me. The featured artist is Alys Williams. I don’t know much about her or Candelas other than they come from Llanuwchllyn in North Wales and only sing in Welsh. If it’s all as good as this, then that is cool by me.
Wales has a fantastic heritage of producing superb musicians and singers. Which other artists can you recommend from “the land of song?”