Introducing: CHROMA

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CHROMA are a ferrous alt-rock trio – Katie Hall, Liam Bevan & Zac Mather – from Pontypridd in South Wales.

Welsh trio are a formidable force of nature and self-evidently brilliant guitar band, and led by the charismatic Katie Hall, they have a MASSIVE sound.

As far as an introduction to CHROMA, in a little over three-minutes, single ‘Vampires’ offers that in the best possible way. All scintillating riffs, high-energy, hammering percussion and bass line that pounds incessantly as Hall’s stunning vocals enter the fray, rendering everything else secondary. ‘Datod’ meanwhile, offers another side to CHROMA. Sung in Welsh, it opens quietly, introducing itself with gently a strummed guitar as Hall’s earth-shattering vocals front and centre. It slowly builds, shifting though the gears towards a muscular, cathartic climax that brings the house down around us. The juxtaposition between darkness and light, softness and harsh, is where ‘Datod’ power is sourced, that and the incredibly powerful, searing vocals – as per usual.

Two dizzying displays of what makes CHROMA a very, very exciting proposition indeed. Check ’em below.

 

CHROMA are also one of twelve acts selected from across Wales for Horizons 2018, so you will be hearing plenty more from them over the next 12 months.

Nia Wyn – ‘Turnstiles’

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We were introduced to the powerful, raw and soulful sounds of North-Walian artist, Nia Wyn about this time last year.

Singles ‘Do You Love Enough’ & ‘Help Me’ immediately marked her out as an exciting prospect. Now, one year on, Nia Wyn is back with a brand new single ‘Turnstiles’. Produced by Paul Weller, ‘Turnstiles’ is a rich blend of soul meets bluesy rock. Weller provides backing vocals and the bass bits alongside a steady beat and strum, and some illuminating, heart-winning parps of brass, that all oozes with a glowing vintage charm. As marvelous a backdrop as it is, the music pales into insignificance when compared to Wyn’s most considerable asset; her voice. Powerful, rich and engrossing, Wyn’s vocals are special (in an Amy Winehouse way) and combined with a flair for storytelling, demand you full attention.

Listen to ‘Turnstiles’ below and if it is to your liking, there’s more here.

Nia Wyn is also one of twelve acts selected from across Wales for Horizons 2018, so you will be hearing plenty more from her over the next 12 months.

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Horizons Acts for 2018 Announced & Playlist

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As regular patrons of the site will be acutely aware I have a great fondness for Wales, and more specifically Welsh music (not to mention the footballing powerhouse that is Wrexham AFC).

For a relatively small place, Wales does rather well for itself musically and for somewhere of its size, it is surely unmatched in both quality and quantity. From the towns and cities, mountains and valleys, Wales proves itself time and time again, to be an ever reliable source of creative, superbly inventive and experimental sounds across a myriad of genres.

While I am entirely grateful for the seemingly never ending stream of wondrous sounds, something apparent from a casual listen to Adam Walton’s excellent BBC Radio Wales Programme (see also Bethan Elfyn also of BBC Radio Wales & Lisa Gwilym’s C2 on BBC Radio Cymru) or cursory glance at the Focus Wales lineup or the Horizons showcase.

It is the latter that draws our attention today – a collaboration between BBC Wales and Arts Council of Wales – Horizons aims to showcase exciting new, independent contemporary music in Wales, providing promotional and performance opportunities, incl. festival slots throughout the year.

Just this week, the twelve acts selected from across Wales for Horizons 2018 were announced. There are some familiar names in there; Adwaith, Campfire Social, CHROMA and Nia Wyn, and some new; Himalayas, I See Rivers, Aleighcia Scott, Alffa, Eadyth, Marged, No Good Boyo and The Pitchforks. Either way, new acquaintances or old, it is an incredibly diverse array of artists.

You can, like me, delve in below:

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