It’s been stressed many times before but there is no harm in reiterating; Super Furry Animals are an exceptionally talented bunch. Surely then with no new SFA records since 2009’s Dark Days/Light Years, and the band’s ongoing indefinite hiatus status, fans have much reason to be glum? Every cloud.
That silver lining are the numerous impeccable side-projects this time has facilitated. Gruff Rhys’s solo exploits are well documented but the rest of the Furries have been no less busy or creative. Cian Ciarán has two sublime solo LPs to his name, Outside In and They Are Nothing Without Us, and is working on a new project Zefur Wolves. Guto Pryce meanwhile, teamed up with Lindsay Leven for side-project Gulp, delivering a bewitching debut LP, Season Sun. That, in a roundabout way, brings us to The Earth.
The Earth is Super Furries’ Dafydd Ieuan’s soul-rock side-project with Dionne Bennett, Tristan Marley and Mark Roberts (Catatonia). To date they have released an LP, Keltic Voodoo Boogaloo & two EPs, Baby Bones & Liberty Rd. (and possibly more) – all containing the key ingredients of real soul, power and passion, and a groove and coolness. ‘Baby Bones’ is pretty typical. It slowly chugs along, gradually swelling, and gets bigger and more impassioned to envelope everything in its path as Bennett’s powerful, impassioned and oh so soulful vocals rise through the clamour to soar emphatically. That’s the thing really, musically it is exceptional but nothing can steal the limelight from Bennett’s vocal, everything else seems secondary. New single ‘Married 2 Me’ where singer Dionne Bennett luscious vocals duets with Gruff Rhys’ delicious tones, it clicks perfectly to a waltzing-synth-pop backdrop. Magnificent, simple as that.
There are a couple of choice cuts to get you started below. You can stream them & more here.