Introducing: Nia Wyn

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It’s never a bad day when you discover a precocious music talent, especially when it’s going to fill a soulful void in your life.

With that in mind, open yourself to the powerful, raw and soulful sounds of London-based North-Walian artist, Nia Wyn. Wyn has a canny ability for raw and powerful storytelling, set within a kind of unorthodox, rich and engrossing vocal, it immediately marks her out as something rather refreshing. She introduced herself with stunning, folk-tinged blues debut, ‘Help Me’, and actually goes one better with latest single, ‘Do You Love Enough’. The music, as with her voice, channels old blues and soul with a modern twist. These are timeless tales of broken hearts at home and in society, told with her unique and powerful voice. Both singles conjure up a very exciting, defiant charisma that’s simultaneously streetwise, witty, hard and warm. A unique and captivating talent, and one to keep your eye on this year, and beyond, for sure.

A debut EP is in the pipeline for a June release, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, make sure and check out ‘Do You Love Enough’ & ‘Help Me’ below.

Sweet Baboo Announces New Album ‘Wild Imagination’, Shares ‘Badminton’

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Two years on from The Boombox Ballads, North Wales native Stephen Black, better known as Sweet Baboo, is gearing up to release his brand new LP.

Due out on 2nd June Wild Imagination was penned as something of an antidote to our turbulent, worrying developments of 2016. In addition, Black has shared the sweet new single ‘Badminton’. Black is songwriter who has a clear vision, coupled with an unquestionable understanding of the melodies and rhythms that hits the sweet spot time after time. The outcome of which, is a some of the most wonderful, curious and eminently listenable music in recent recent years. These aforementioned qualities are found in abundance on ‘Badminton’. It is a gentle, bright and airy ditty with lilting electronics as Black’s peaceful vocals floating gracefully between gentle tones and the breezy, warbling synth. Just beautiful.

Wild Imagination is out 2 June via Moshi Moshi. Check ‘Badminton’ out below.

Zefur Wolves – ‘Stars of Omaha’ (A Tribute to John Trudell)

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Revolving around the twin talents of Cian Ciaran from Super Fury Animals and Estelle from Baby Queens, Zefur Wolves have returned following a two year absence.

The Welsh outfit’s return is marked by new single ‘Stars of Omaha'; their first new music since their wonderful self-titled debut in 2015. The single is a tribute to Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist, John Trudell, with all proceeds going to The Standing Rock Foundation.

‘Stars of Omaha’ continues in a similar vein to that of their debut LP, with a clear preference for creating powerful, emotive and politically tinged shoegazey-grunge. Imbued with a sense of awe and mysticism, a swirl of mellow, atmospheric sound surrounds Estelle’s impassioned vocal, which in turn is greeted by stripped-back bass and guitar, that gradually evolve heavier and louder. The chunky guitar chords are tempered by languid drumbeat as feint layers of vocal sustain a sense of otherworldly atmosphere and spirit. A wonderful political themed, shoegaze and psychedelic waltz.

You can check out ‘Stars of Omaha’ below or purchase from here; with all proceeds from the song will go to The Standing Rock Foundation. Buy it here.

Rhodri Brooks – ‘Bws Dŵr’

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Rhodri Brooks is a Cardiff born singer and songwriter, whose rather wonderful sound is gathered from fragments of alt-country, psychedelia, Americana and lo-fi, and effortlessly sewn together.

Brooks’ chameleonic sound transcends eras and genres, evidenced by his wonderful back catalogue and latest single ‘Bws Dŵr’.The new track will be released through the Bubblewrap Collective – who he’s recently joined forces with – for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Performed in his native Welsh, ‘Bws Dŵr’ is a gentle and wonderfully understated lo-fi blend of Americana/Country that lulls you into a hypnotic, woozy state of peace and calm as it meanders along with sliding guitars and washed-out vocal. So easy on the ear, this is just a wonderfully tranquil beauty.

‘Bws Dŵr’ is out for Welsh Language Music Day on February 10th. Listen to it below.

Introducing: Three Thieves

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Three Thieves is the moniker of Cardiff based producer, Tom Clugston and his approach is fearless and superlative.

Three Thieves serves a spellbinding synthesis of sound embracing all things hip hop, electronica, drum & bass and a wealth of other electronic beat driven genres. In short, Clugston digs beats, and my, can he deliver them with pin-point accuracy; something acutely evident on his sublime and most recent EP, Zero Hour. Three Thieves is in his element with the melodic, fluid and perky drum & bass indebted ‘Blue Green’ and ‘Luminar’, in particular. Combining flourishes of synths, light skittering beats and dazzling keys, providing a really uplifting positive vibe and warm, inviting sounds. These are but two stellar moments from what is a sublime EP, and one that has one that has been on constant rotation in recent weeks.

Check out ‘Blue Green’ and ‘Luminar’ below and you can stream the entire Zero Hour EP here. Without a shadow of a doubt, you will be better for letting it, and Three Thieves into your life.

IRMA VEP – ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’

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Manchester via North Wales musician IRMA VEP – aka Edwin Stevens – released a his new album, No Handshake Blues last week.

Accompanying album number four under the IRMA VEP moniker, is the LP’s lead single, and album opener, ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’. It is a world-weary and shadowy 11-minutes plus of epic, sprawling distortion, feedback and psychedelic drone. The vocals are almost entirely swathed in distortion and reverb rendering the lyrics indecipherable, amid the already swirling fuzz and feedback. A thrilling and epic introduction to Irma Vep’s new and experimental sound, and album too.

You can listen to the epic ‘A Woman’s Work Is Never Done’ below. If that is to your liking, you can hear the new album, No Handshake Blues, over here.

H. Hawkline Shares new track ‘Last Thing On Your Mind’

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Welsh artist H. Hawkline is currently working on the followup to 2015’s wondrous In The Pink Of Condition.

No concrete details on the album have been announced but we’re afforded an early taste of what we can expect with new single, ‘The Last Thing On Your Mind’. Featuring frequent collaborators Cate Le Bon and Josiah Steinbrick and powered by synths and a minimal drum machine, the single explores new territory. It does so while retaining the classic Hawkline approach for earworm hooks intertwined with gently groovy sounds, charming oddity and fused with experimental whims into mildly psychedelic, wonky pop song. A marvellously tantalising six-minutes.

As was said previously, there’s no solid info on when we can expect the new record but after all, any new H. Hawkline is good news. Be sure to be on the look out for the full length later this year.

Listen to ‘The Last Thing On Your Mind’ below.

Buck – ‘Hold On’

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Ed Jones – best known as the vocalist/frontman with Welsh indie-rockers Masters In France – has returned with a brand new single from his solo/side-project, BUCK.

Previous singles ‘Arecibo’ and ‘Underneath The Glow Of My Skin’ marked BUCK as a project to watch, and latest track, ‘Hold On’ is no less impressive. Continuing an exploitative foray through a world of silky, slick electro infused alt-pop, Jones’ soulful vocals ride a wave of electronic flourishes and swells, with subtle gushes and sublime synths. Tinged by a mild manifestation of darkness, the unravelling wave of lush atmospheric melodies and velvety production maintains its luminescence. An undeniably infectious and undeniably glorious. Hopefully 2017 will provide us with plenty more from BUCK, and perhaps something more substantial too.

‘Hold On’ is out now. Check it out below:

Gulp Share New Single ‘Search For Your Love’

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The Cardiff-based spacey psych-poppers, Gulp – revolving around Lindsey Leven & Guto Pryce of Super Furry Animals fame – have shared their new single ‘Search For Your Love’.

Recorded in the summer of 2016 on a farm in mid Wales, ‘Search For Your Love’ follows on from Gulp’s bewitching 2014 debut album Season Sun and it is a wonderfully natural successor. ‘Search For Your Love’ further refines the pair’s warm, fuzzy, lush psych-pop by combining spacey sounds and textures with a luscious melody proggy-guitars and synths. In doing so they create something hypnotic and unique, and topped off by Leven’s sultry vocals, this is the very essence of dreams. What a magnificent return. Now is the time to sit back and let ‘Search For Your Love’ flow over you and seep into your senses, and leave you better for it.

‘Search For Your Love’ is available now via via Tim Burgess’ independent label O Genesis and Gulp are currently working with Luke Abbott on their second album, which is set to be released in 2017.

We Are Animal Return With New Single ‘Capoeira’

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It’s been a quite a while since we’ve heard anything from We Are Animal – which is a shame by any calculation.

The North Wales band released their splendid debut album in 2010, followed by a number of singles and last we heard from them as a collective unit was a tour with The Joy Formidable in 2013. More recently the various members of the We Are Animal family have been concerning themselves with various side-projects Hippies Vs Ghosts, Fauna Twin & CaStLeS – until now – We Are Animal have released a brand new single, ‘Capoeira’. Gritty, dark and edgy, ‘Capoeira’ is engulfed in layers if fuzz and eerie and menacing tones. Cutting through this shadowy blanket of murky fuzz is the muscular, shredding guitars and buzzing riffs, upping the intensity and ferocity, while propelled along an irresistible rhythmic groove. Fierce, hypnotic and spooky, ‘Capoeira’ might just be We Are Animal’s finest and most complete work to date. And my, that is saying something.

Regards a new album, the band have established a ‘Pledge Music’ campaign to help fund the next record – all the details on that, are here. For now, get in on ‘Capoeira’ below. It does not disappoint.