Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 – ‘Lawr Yn Y Ddinas Fawr’

With so much of our lives put on hold as we navigate our way through the pandemic, it was with great joy we discovered that Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 fast-tracked their second album ‘Mas’ for release in 2021 instead of 2022. 

‘Mas’ is the follow-up to 2019’s stunning debut ‘Joia!’ and is out today via Banana & Louie Records. As with its predecessor, it consists of songs in Welsh, backed with a distinct pop flavoured with music from across Latin America; a beautiful melting pot fabulously informed by tropicália and bossa nova, but with a psychedelic flavour. Accompanying the album’s release is ‘Lawr Yn Y Ddinas Fawr’; a suitably breezy breathe of fresh air underpinned by a soft patter of drums and gentle bassline bubble. It is sweet, charming and joy filled, as sweet vocals cruise gracefully above a lush strum, warm chimes  and array of sunny tones, beautiful breezy feelgood vibe. Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 sounding wonderful once again; resplendent psych-pop perfection and perfect soundtrack to brighter times ahead. 

Listen to ‘Lawr Yn Y Ddinas Fawr’ below and the new album ‘Mas’ is out today – tune in here.

Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 announce second album ‘Mas’; Share ‘Ar Ôl Y Glaw’

With so much of our lives put on hold as we navigate our way through the pandemic, it brings great joy to hear that Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 will release their second album ‘Mas’ in 2021.

Originally penned for release in 2022, the follow-up to 2019’s stunning debut ‘Joia!’ has been fast-tracked by a year and out on 26 February 2021 via Banana & Louie Records. As with its predecessor, ‘Mas’ will have songs sung in Welsh, backed with a distinct pop flavoured with music from across Latin America; a beautiful melting pot fabulously informed by tropicália and bossa nova, but with a psychedelic flavour. Ahead of the album’s release next month, we have been afforded a glimpse of what we can expect with lead single, ‘Ar Ôl Y Glaw’ (After The Rain). It is a joyous bundle of sunshine that tips along a bright strum, bubbling bass-led groove, array of sunny tones and beautiful breezy and feelgood vibes. It is sweet, charming, colourful and playful – an undeniable triumph; this is pure unadulterated psych-pop perfection. Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 sounding fresh, new and alive, once again.

Listen to ‘Ar Ôl Y Glaw’ below:



MÊL – ‘Cusco’

‘Cusco’ is the third single from Welsh outfit MÊL and marks their move from being collaborators to a fully formed “proper” band; they are Rhodri Owen, Morgan Jones and George Amor with help from Eryl (Pearl) Jones and contributions from musician/producer Llŷr Pari and poet Geraldine Mac Burney.

Inspired by a trip to the Peruvian city of the same name, ‘Cusco’ was recorded in September, as the freshly liberated outfit emerged from lockdown cabin fever, blinking into the sun. A mash of ’60s-leaning-psychedelia, pastoral folk and freewheeling exploration, ‘Cusco’ opens with a sunken bassline and off-kilter groove ushering us into a mystical atmosphere that feels revelatory and transcendent and as it reveals itself, a mesmeric hypnotic pattern emerges for the hushed and withdrawn vocals to thrive. The slowly plodding, off-kilter bass-line wanders at its own pace as if existing in its own space and time while mingling with hazy guitars that meld into the percussion while mumbling of words babble in the background. Taken separately, these components would make little sense but in tandem they hum sweetly.

‘Cusco’ is a real treat – listen to it below

Ian Simmonds – ‘The Falling Tree’

Ian Simmonds is a Welsh musician & producer whose music oscillates between nu jazz or downtempo and heavily produced electronica, often interwoven with hip hop textures.

With 15 studio albums to his name already, Simmonds latest work is the stunning and seductive ‘The Falling Tree’. Lifted from Diffract Records 17-track compilation Rhuba, it is one of many highlights among a superb collection filled with immersive electronica, trip hop, jazzy breakbeats, movie samples, abstract atmospheres, and funky grooves. ‘The Falling Tree’ is one of the most bewitching with its gentle but irresistible groove and soft patter of beats lulling you into a trance as melodies undulate alongside latin flavours, low-slung, bubbling double bass before orchestral bursts and chilling tones create a darker, more sinister atmosphere. It is lush and superbly seductive with its sunken groove and its rich array of colourful sound collages.

Listen to ‘The Falling Tree’ below and Rhuba is here.

Colorama announce new album; shares ‘And’ & ‘Dusty Road’

Following a break of three years, Colorama is back with news of a new album, Chaos Wonderland, which will be released July 31, 2020.

Now, three years isn’t an unusually long gap but Carwyn Ellis, the brains behind Colorama, has spent the intervening time focused on his other Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 and in doing so released last year’s finest record; Joia! (Welsh psych meets Brazilian pop).  Back on Colorama duties Ellis has teamed up with American producer Shawn Lee for the new record and in advance of its release at the end of the month, have share two sublime cuts to get us in the mood. First up, ‘And’, is a shimmering, slo-mo 60s-inspired psych-soul groover. It gently swaggers along a super seductive groove while hushed, hazy vocals drift above the distorted guitar shimmerings, bittersweet organ, and cymbal-heavy drums. Meanwhile ‘Dusty Road’ is just a big on the grooves while psychedelic & spaghetti western in tone. It gentle bobs along a groovy beat, fuzzy guitar strum and sitar twang while the hazy melodic vocals drift breezily above. Amid the twangy haze there emanates a sense of dangerousness and outlaw vibes.

Two magnificent reasons to be excited for ‘Chaos Wonderland’ on July 31, 2020.

Ynys – ‘Aros Am Byth’

Ynys is the moniker of Welsh artist Dylan Hughes (formerly of Race Horses and Radio Luxembourg) who has dazzled us with his work to date; namely singles ‘Mae’n Hawdd’ and  ‘Caneuon.

Teaming up with the excellent Libertino Records once again, Hughes has returned with a super smooth and hypnotic new single; ‘Aros Am Byth’. It is yet another lavish psych-washed synth-pop beauty filled with starry-eyed wonder as Hughes brings together 70s Italian disco synths and power pop harmonies – a magical combo. ‘Aros Am Byth’ washes over you with ease as lush vocals flow above a slinking groove and seductive beats while woozy flourishes of synth ripple amid the psychedelic swirl. A beautiful hypnotic tune tinged with melancholy and swelling heart and soul – another dazzling display from Ynys.

Listen to ‘Aros Am Byth’ below:


Kidsmoke – ‘Layla’s Love’

North Wales band Kidsmoke – Lance, James, Sophie & Ash – have been charming us with their woozy indie-pop wonders for a while now, and following a string of sublime singles they will release their debut album A Vision in the Dark on June 19.

Out via the ever impressive Libertino Records, the Wrexham outfit are previewing the record with another beautiful slice of dream-pop splendour; in the shape of ‘Layla’s Love’. It is sunny and cheery brimming with heartwarming charm as guitars shimmer over driven basslines, lush melodies and lavish harmonies as ‘Layla’s Love’ conjures up memories of golden sunsets and balmy summer evenings. ‘Layla’s Love’ is a truly wonderful and charming reminder of what Kidsmoke do best – the intertwined male/female vocals are a particular highlight – together, they will have you hooked.

Listen to ‘Layla’s Love’ below and keep an eye out for A Vision in the Dark coming on June 19.

Panic Shack – ‘Jiu Jits-You’

Cardiff noisemakers Panic Shack introduced their raw, spiky and incendiary punky stylings with debut ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?‘ in February – and they have made a rip roaring return with new single ‘Jiu Jits-You’.

‘Jiu Jits-You’ is a fierce, fiery and furious blast of guitar wielding brilliance as Panic Shack give both barrels to unsolicited approaches on nights out. It hurtles off upon a relentless rhythm and snappy snare while riffs roar, guitars crunch and vocals are spat put with a snarl. An unforgettable three-minutes of taut indie-punk, it is delivered with swagger, raucous energy and fuck you punk attitude but also with fun, hooks, catchy chorus and shout-out chants.

Listen to ‘Jiu Jits-You’ below – the video too, is great and well worth some of your time:

SYBS – ‘Cwyr’

Welsh outfit SYBS introduced them and their wares with deliciously catchy debut single ‘Paid Gofyn Pam’ last year, and the Cardiff-based foursome are back with another beauty.

With ‘Cwyr’ (Wax), we find SYBS in a more serious, driven mood. Produced by Stefan Pringle (Adwaith, Estrons, KEYS), this adventure in post-punk and psychedelia is fueled by a relentless rhythmic groove, chugging guitars and flurries of fizzing riffs as it dances along with swagger and explosive energy while deep toned vocals scoot across the top.It is a powerhouse of irresistible rhythms, mighty riffs and hooks you could hang your hat on – a stellar piece of guitar wielding brilliance.

‘Cwyr’ is out now via the every excellent Libertino Records – listen to it below now:

Accü – ‘Is There A World?’

Cardiff-based artist Accü aka Angharad Van Rijswijk has returned to the fold with her first new material since the release of her stunning 2018 debut Echo The Red; a beautiful, mysterious, delicate yet strident otherworldly listening experience.

New single ‘Is There A World?’ continues to reside and thrive in a hazy world of psychedelic electronic-pop and warped imagination. It tips along a playful yet eerie, almost nursery rhyme-esque melody while the kaleidoscopic swirl grows and swells, increasing the disorienting otherworldly air as we desperately attempt to cling onto some semblance of reality. This hypnotic and kaleidoscopic adventure waltzes along with warped Casio tones threaded with winding bass lines and flashes of scorched riffs and topped off with hazy vocals. Van Rijswijk is not one to rest on her laurels creatively, always moving forward and exploring, and ‘Is There A World?’ is no different – it is magnificent in fact.

Listen to  ‘Is There A World?’ below – it is out now via the ever reliable Libertino Records.