Introducing: Kayla Painter


Kayla Painter is a Bristol based musician who crafts inventive, experimental and ambient soundscapes.

Signed to Turnstile Music, Painter’s sound draws from techno, garage and post dub, to create intricate, intriguing and curious compositions of restless rhythms, surging deep bass lines and warm flourishes of ethereal ambience. Painter’s latest single, ‘Drones’ demonstrates just that, and more. It is a lush, densely layered piece of ambient excellence, that is beautiful, graceful and bewitching as it glistens with exquisite majesty. Similar exalted praise can be bestowed upon the twitchy, twinkly and divine previous single, ‘Revert’. Also worth your attention is collaborative single ‘Avallaunius’, which saw Painter team up with ex-Trwbador member Accü and released on Turnstile Music in January. This is all rather sublime; music get lost in and simultaneously to be amazed by.

‘Drones’ was released just this week, you check out Painter’s excellent self-directed video below, along with a number of other, choice cuts.

Introducing: A C C Ü



TRWBADOR were an act who occupied a unique place in the musical landscape between folk, techno and electronica. The duo’s original sound placed them firmly at the forefront the Welsh music scene but during the summer of this year, the pair decided to go their separate ways.

Since then, both Owain Gwilym and Angharad van Rijswijk have been working in their own respective projects. Having previously collaborated with Cornershop under the A C C Ü alias, Van Rijswijk has unveiled the first material from her latest venture, with a series of recordings from a session for C2 BBC Radio Cymru. ‘Noseweithiau Nosol’ is a breathtaking introduction to the new endeavor, delving further into otherworldly electronica, Van Rijswijk’s distinctive crystalline voice finds itself at peace among the winding, pulsating and throbbing synth line and shadow sounds. ‘Golau Welw’ is a much lighter and airy concoction, demonstrating the compelling power of her vocals, amid minimal crunchy beats and subtle synths/keys.

With A C C Ü, Van Rijswijk is continuing to forge something distinct and rather unique and while it’s certainly a shame that TRWBADOR parted company, on this evidence, A C C Ü has plenty to offer.


Cornershop – ‘Pinpoint (Feat. Accü)’


There are many, many reasons to love Cornershop, aside from the endearing charm, one of the biggest has to be that you never really know what they will serve up next.

While the quality is never in question, the journey thus far has taken us to all sorts of musical destinations, everything from indie, punk, funk, electronica and disco and dub. Cornershop’s latest single ‘Pinpoint’ is no less of a musical globetrotter. “Think Chic meet St Etienne,” reads Cornershop’s description of ‘Pinpoint’, and it’s not far off. Featuring vocals from Cardiff-based Accü, aka Angharad from Trwbador, it’s a summery slice of warped funky disco. ‘Pinpoint’ is certainly a groover, driven by an effervescent ’70s funk bass and accompanied by parps of horns, an abundance of tambourine, some subtle tones and of course, Accü’s pristine vocals. Peculiar and surprising (in a good way obviously) as usual but most importantly, as delectable as ever.

You can listen to ‘Pinpoint’/‘The Titi Shaker’ below, and it’s out on July 17th, through Ample Play. Rumour has it, Cornershop are working on a new album too. Happy days indeed.

Cotton Wolf – ‘Moxa’

Cotton Wolf 2015

Welsh electronic duo Cotton Wolf are set to release a brand new EP, Moxa, through the ever reliable Strangetown Records.

The first glimpse afforded to us from the Cardiff pairing’s forthcoming EP comes in the shape of title-track ‘Moxa’; a spectacular four minutes of wonderfully dreamy hypnotic oscillation. All manner of majestic electronic sounds and faint heavenly vocals are intricately woven together with bouncy bass, crunchy beats and click-clack percussion to give an overall aura of liquid, glistening blissfulness. It’s lush, energetic, altogether alive and utterly, utterly sublime! Going by this, their EP, is going to be a hell of a record.

You can check out ‘Moxa’ below, along with Cotton Wolf’s (Dead Of Night) remix of TRWBADOR’s ‘Several Wolves’. You won’t be disappointed.

BarryGruff’s Playlist February 2015

BarryGruff Feb Playlist 2015

A new monthly feature to the blog, a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

It was a pretty good month to be fair. There was the return of Joanna Gruesome, Novella, Coves and Akala, with new tracks ahead of their respective albums, and new singles from Du Blonde, Foreign/National, Freedom Fry & Rozi Plain. Not to forget the huge news of a new album from Blur and last but not least, the return of Super Furry Animals. Also featuring on the playlist are: Public Service Broadcasting, TRWBADOR, The Courtneys, SALES, The Earth & Benihana.

Listen to BarryGruff’s February 2015 playlist below. The full track listing is after the jump.

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Trwbador – ‘Several Wolves’


Welsh duo Trwbador have released a third single and the title track from their latest album, Several Wolves.

Since their formation in 2010, the pairing of Owain Gwilym and Angharad van Rijswijk have thus far yielded many breathtaking and spectacular moments. Trwbador have quite a habit in this regard, and proven a plentiful source of serenely beautiful, otherworldly music, merging folk and glitchy electronica. The latest single ‘Several Wolves’ finds them at the peak of their prowess. Effervescent, inventive and saturated with electronic melodies that swish around the outfit’s folk origins. Pulsating, throbbing bass and synth work skirts around Angharad Van Rijswijk’s distinctive crystalline voice, creating a shadowy, otherworldly feel. It is a gentle collision of worlds, and weaved together with perfection to keep a firm grip of their identity while forging something rather unique.

‘Several Wolves’ is released on April 6th, while the album of the same name is out now (stream here).

TRWBADOR – ‘Side By Side’

Since forming in 2010, Welsh duo Trwbador have forged a distinctive and fruitful partnership for serenely beautiful, otherworldly music, merging folk and glitchy electronica with near perfection.

Having already greatly impressed with their self-titled debut (including a Welsh Music Prize nomination), they release their second album Several Wolves this week, and will be hoping to emulate or surpass the successes of their debut. Baring that in mind, it’s a pretty apt time  to cast an eye over ‘Side By Side’, the second single from the new album. ‘Side By Side’ is quintessentially Trwbador. Scant electro-folk meets with some great experimentation – all bleeps, soft melodies, bouncing beats and delicate vocal looping – conspiring to create a serene, relaxing and melodic piece of sparkling alt-pop. Fabulous stuff from Owain Gwilym and Angharad van Rijswijk once again, who have to be one of the most unique and unusual acts around at the moment.

Several Wolves is out now and you can stream it in full from here.

TRWBADOR – ‘Breakthrough Ft. ESSA’

trwbador breakthrough 2014

Since forming in 2010, Welsh duo Trwbador have forged a distinctive and fruitful partnership for producing serenely beautiful, otherworldly music, merging folk and glitchy electronica with near perfection – a trend carried through their excellent debut LP from last year.

With their new single, ‘Breakthrough’, the duo of Angharad Van Rijswijk & Owain Gwilym have teamed up with London rapper Essa (formerly known as Yungun), as they push their folky origins to new far-flung reaches. It’s hypnotic, captivating and all absorbing as Essa rhymes over looped harps, pulsing bass and crunching beats, which all add weight and resonance to Essa’s verses. ‘Breakthrough’ is a first taste from the duo’s second album, which is set for release in late Summer along with another single following in September. Very good news indeed.

‘Breakthrough Ft. ESSA’ is released digitally on May 26th and the 7″ follows one week later. For now? Check it out below.

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BarryGruff’s Best Albums of 2013 so far……


Due to various reasons I’ve been slacking with album reviews this year. That said, I’ve been listening to more than ever before but finding the time to pen some musings about some of them. In an attempt to redress this situation, here’s the ten albums that have impressed me the most so far this year.

10. Applescal – ‘Dreaming In Key’

Dreaming in Key is the third LP from young Dutch producer Applescal. Comprised of 11 tracks, the album isn’t too easy to pin down, finding itself in an ambiguous hinterland between electronica & techno; meaning it comes across as both dreamy and driving. It is also marked by the track’s complexity. Lavish layers of sound are met with impressive sound sequencing resulting in a warm, mellow vibe. Applescal is on top of his game.

[Stream on Spotify]

09. Trwbador – ‘Trwbador’

Mergers of folk and glitchy electronica can at times yield yawnsome middle of the road, chin stroking bollocks, but not so for Welsh duo Trwbador (aka Angharad Van Rijswijk & Owain Gwilym). Since forming in 2010, the pair have forged a distinctive and fruitful partnership for producing serenely beautiful, otherworldly music. It’s a trend carried through to their self-titled debut which sees warm folky sounds and whimsical vocals pinned to electronic glitches and loops. It contains a real sense of tenderness, twinkling and flickering simultaneously, it is both carefree and hypnotic. A magic and irresistibly beautiful album. This is absorbing music to get lost in.

[Stream on Spotify]

08. The Pictish Trail – ‘Secret Soundz, Volume 2’

Most likely the greatest album to be recorded in a caravan, Secret Soundz, Volume 2, is the second LP from The Pictish Trail, the alter ego of Scottish musician Johnny Lynch. Throughout the LP, he’s in a contemplative, often melancholic mood, concerned with life’s ups and downs. In contrast, musically Secret Sounds is rather chipper, spurred on by a glorious melange of oddball sounds, sparks of frazzled electronics and instrumental breaks. A magnificent record; warm, inviting and full of charming quirks from an exceptional talent.

07. Biggles Flys Again – ‘Remember Saturday’

Ireland certainly produces plenty of great bands, but for me, where it falls short of say our Welsh neighbours, is when it comes to indie bands of the weird and wonderful variety. But in Biggles Flys Again we’ve got a domestic talent expertly filling that void. Biggles Flys Again is the moniker of Dubliner Conor Deasy, who’s got a real talent for crafting 3 minute pop gems. Biggles’ debut album Remember Saturday is brimming with enchanting and whimsical good old fashioned pop songs, filled with sinuous melodies and organic arrangement. This is pop in the old fashioned sense, played by a band, and with an assured sense of style.

06. Sweet Baboo – ‘Ships’

Touted as a concept album about the sea, and yes, there are plenty of sea related moments but the songs are mainly concerned with love and relationships, usually with a bittersweet edge. Ships is a wry take on lost love and heartbreak, sliding from darkly funny to piercingly tender, this is one of the most perfectly crafted indie-pop you’re likely to hear all year. There are so many highlights, ’If I Died…..’ opens the album perfectly and features one of the best lyrics – “Daniel Johnston has written hundreds of great tunes, and I’ve got six, so I guess there’s some catching up to do” – and a delightful melody and irresistible swirls of brass. That’s followed the startlingly perky ‘The Morse Code For Love’ and ‘Let’s Go Swimming Wild’, shrouded in a woozy veil of melancholy before bursting into life with a brass-filled chorus that won’t leave your head anytime soon. The North Wales native is an idiosyncratic artist with an ear for a sparkling melody and a gift for an evocative lyrical turn.

[Stream on Spotify & Deezer]

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Welsh Wizards | Mixtape

This is a quite odd post even by my standards. This day ten years ago I upped sticks and moved to Wales, Wrexham to be precise, which explains all the Wrexham related tweets for anyone who follows me on Twitter.

Although I’m back in Ireland a few years now, it was one of my smarter moves & I retain a fondness for Wales as a country and the music it produces (although I don’t get over half as much as I’d like these days). Welsh music features quite prominently on the blog, something regular visitors are probably aware of. Apart from anything else it got me thinking and I decided to knock together a mixtape/compilation of some Welsh favourites from the past few years, with one or two older tracks thrown in for good measure.

So, without further waffling, here it is, some mighty fine weekend listening. Diolch. Mwynhewch.

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