Adwaith – ‘Gartref’

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Welsh trio Adwaith introduced themselves and their experimental post-punk earlier in the year with stellar double A-side single ‘Fel i Fod’ / ‘Newid‘.

Hot on the heels of their double A-side, the trio – consisting of Hollie Singer (vocals, guitar), Gwenllian Anthony (bass, keys, mandolin), and Heledd Owen (drums) – have announced new single ‘Gartref’.

Opening with acoustic strum and tender, hushed vocals, ‘Gartref’ builds slowly, smouldering with emotion as it draws you in under its intoxicating spell. A beautifully melancholic slice of wistful indie-pop, based around minimalist instrumentation and the beautifully, mesmeric vocals; a truly beautiful song. As with all Adwaith’s songs thus far, they instinctively forge a direct emotional connection with the listener,

Oh, and that’s not all! A much anticipated debut album is due for release later this year too. Exciting times.

Out via the excellent Libertino Records, ‘Gartref’ is out now. Tune in below.

Adwaith are also one of twelve acts selected from across Wales for Horizons 2018, so expect to be hearing plenty more from them over the next 12 months. Find out more about them here

ilu – ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’

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Welsh label Libertino Records has fast become a reliable mine of intriguing and altogether wonderful sounds and we’ve struck gold once again with their latest release from ilu.

Dividing their time recording between Tallinn, Estonia and rural Wales, Ilu are mysterious Welsh Psych/Krautrock newcomers crafting epic, spacey, interstellar hymns – of Spiritualized proportions. Backing up these lofty claims is stunning debut single ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’. Propelled along Krautrock, motoric grooves ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’, spacey synths and heavenly harmonies envelop spiky post-punk guitars and bass rumbles which coalesces into one coherent, unstoppable sound. Sizzling danceable grooves are woven tightly into their mammoth tones and grinding churn, which is all punctuated with a beautiful yet melancholic sense of longing. As far as debut singles go, they don’t come much bigger or better than ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop'; an immaculate palate of sonics, sounds and textures

Ilu’s debut single ‘Graffiti Hen Ewrop’ is out on August 3rd – check it out below.

Gruff Rhys – ‘No Profit In Pain’

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Hot on the heels of his wonderful new album Babelsberg, Gruff Rhys has shared a new song, ‘No Profit in Pain’.

The track was written for the National Theatre Wales’ NHS70 festival, which is celebrating the National Health Service’s 70th birthday, and all proceeds will go to NHS charities in Wales. It is an ode to the National Health Service on its 70th birthday, defiantly focused on the battle to keep the service in public ownership amid encroaching privatisation – a death knell for the NHS – as profiteers and privateers circle hoping for a vultures picnic. While lyrically defiant, musically is a beautiful, reflective, hazy and whimsical affair, brought to you through the psychedelic eyes of Cardiff’s most innovative musical sons. Bobbing along with soft drums, sparkling synths, rich production and his soothing vocals, it is a rather beautiful and heartfelt ode to the NHS and nod of respect to its staff, for what they do on a daily basis.

Check ‘No Profit in Pain’ below. Buy here: http://bit.ly/NoProfitInPain

Gruff will bring his tour to Ireland this December with the following shows:

Sat December 01 2018 – CORK St Lukes
Sun December 02 2018 – GALWAY Roisin Dubh
Mon December 03 2018 – DUBLIN Button Factory

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.

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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