Gruff Rhys‘ latest album American Interior has quite rightly been met by rave reviews and lavish praise. An astonishingly brilliant LP that among other things, displays how captivating a storyteller Rhys is, who wistfully spins wonderful narratives of being carried through new worlds and visions, and only adds to the particular idiosyncratic charm that this Welshman personifies.
As if Mr. Rhys hadn’t enough on his plate with ‘American Interior’ duties, he’s also penned the soundtrack for biopic, ‘Set Fire To The Stars’, about the life and work of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. In doing so he joined forces with drummer Chris Walmsley, Jim Barr who is the double bass player with Portishead, Osian Gwynedd (formerly of Big Leaves and Sybridion) on piano and Gruff Ab Arwel from Y Niwl who arranged the strings, to form a jazz band. The title track is a characteristically beguiling and lavish composition, that’s climactic moments occur when immaculate strings and exuberant brass combine to pierce the dark yet immersive, smoky, café-acclimatised vibe. All the while an ever assured Gruff Rhys’ utterances ring through with a recognizable assured and serene coolness. Never one to keep us waiting too long for something new and interesting is he? Thankfully not.
You can check out ‘Set Fire To The Stars’ and there’s more on the whole thing here too.