Ffrwydrad Tawel is out now.
It’s definitely a strange mix. 80’s tinged electropop with lyrics in Welsh. I mean, it probably shouldn’t work. At all. But somehow, in the capable hands of Cardiff’s ANi GLASS, it just does.
So, if you can imagine, what’s going on here is somewhat akin to if Soft Cell had found a book of Welsh traditional songs underneath their seats on the bus and just decided to start covering them willy nilly. As big fans of mixing things that really should not be mixed, this appeals to us here a great deal.
Especially ‘Geiriau’. That’s our jam. With its dreamy, chiming synth lines and vocal melody that seems to float just above proceedings, it is probably the jewel in ANi GLASS’ crown at this stage.
You can grab Ffrwydrad Tawel via Bandcamp.
‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’ is named after one of Wales’ leading contemporary artists Ivor Davies’ major exhibition Silent Explosion/Ffrwydrad Tawel held at National Museum Cardiff in 2016. I was really inspired by his use and mix of the Welsh language, bleak colours and destruction to reflect society in Wales. The themes explored in Ivor’s exhibition really resonated with me and were ones I was also keen to explore. In short, the EP is about the process of reconnecting with my language, history and culture after returning home having been away for seven years.
1. Y Newid
‘Y Newid’ is about the rise of the unions within the working classes during the Industrial Revolution. It’s a song dedicated to Ray Davies, Labour councillor for Bedwas and longstanding member of Côr Cochion Caerdydd who passed away in 2015. He joined the union whilst working as a miner and dedicated his life to help others as a peace campaigner and activist. The sampled voice on the track is from his speech during the Yes Cymru rally in 2014. It’s also about maintaining and building on hope in times of darkness.
2. Y Dawns
‘Y Ddawns‘ is a further reference to South Wales’ industrial past. It’s a tribute to the communities who lost their livelihoods; the driving rhythms echo the now silent machines whilst the melody and lyrics hint at the need to escape and the need for change.
3. Dal i Droi
‘Dal i Droi’ is a song I wrote for my Dad when my Uncle (his brother) passed away last year. It’s about loss but also about the process of learning to accept this as a part of life. Navigating your way through such extreme and varying emotions, whilst at the same time trying to present yourself as a well-balanced individual, is challenging to say the least. These are the times when you learn the most about yourself.
‘Geiriau’ is about my experience of leaving home, moving away and escaping to make a new life then returning years later. It’s about reconnecting with my language, history and culture whilst grappling with my new found perspective. It’s about finding my voice in a strange yet familiar landscape.
5. Mor Hapus
‘Mor Hapus’ consists of a series of recordings made in and around Cardiff Bay. Alone, they are non-remarkable, day-to-day sounds to which we are all exposed to each day but together they represent the sound of our daily lives. I like the idea of framing these sounds and presenting them as songs.
6. Cariad Cudd
‘Cariad Cudd’ is a song about learning of the history of Cardiff and the south Wales valleys – their rise and fall. It’s about the cruel decline of industry and community and echoes the final fight of these communities during 1980s miner’s strike. Since returning to Wales, I have a new found respect for my hometown.
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