Gruff Rhys is back with a new album, American Interior, and will be accompanied by a book, documentary film and app for a “multisensory experience telling the incredible true story of John Evans”.
The Super Furries frontman’s latest record is inspired by the unusual journey of 18th century explorer John Evans, a young farmhand from Snowdonia who traveled through lands that would eventually become part of today’s USA, in search of a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe called The Madogwys living there. Lead single and title track from the upcoming LP, ‘American Interior’ reminds us how captivating a storyteller Rhys is, who wistfully spins a narrative of being carried through new worlds and visions amid the luscious and beautiful instrumentation. The song suggests that beyond all the chatter about multimedia extravaganza – an exciting album’s worth of new material is on the horizon.
American Interior is released via Turnstile on 5th May – check out the title track for yourself below.
Keys (formerly The Keys) have unveiled their brand new single ‘Bad Girls’, the first to be taken from forthcoming album Ring The Changes, due sometime this May through See Monkey Do Monkey Records.
The band, who hail from the Welsh capital of Cardiff, are kindly giving away new single, ‘Bad Girls’, as a free download. Apparently inspired by Matth Keys’ late night journeys home from college, where he’d be propositioned by ‘ladies of the night. Whatever the case, the single is a glorious, swooning psych-surf pop brew, a tune so catchy, it will stick in your head for days. The surf pop and psych influences run free, harmonious, melodic and subtle; but swirled with psychedelic patterns and freewheeling colourful splashes. It’s fair to say this would sit rather comfortably alongside the likes of Super Furry Animals, The Coral and The Bees.
You can download ‘Bad Girls’ below & Ring The Changes will be released later this year via See Monkey Do Monkey Records.
Welsh songstress Cate Le Bon has released new track, ‘He’s Leaving’, as a sort of thank you to fans after she wrapped up her touring duties during the week.
Previously unreleased, ‘He’s Leaving’ was recorded during the Mug Museum album sessions in LA and it’s hardly surprising to find some of the album’s sparkle has rubbed onto this track. As with Mug Museum, there is a sparseness to ‘He’s Leaving’, along with a cool, controlled confidence that showcases her knack for the wonderfully weird and surreal. Incredibly bittersweet, it is etched with a mournfulness as her quivering Welsh accent gently gives added life to the most touching lyrics. It is bestowed with all the wondrous majestic brilliance that made her last album an utterly bewitching, beguiling and beautiful record.
You can stream / download ‘He’s Leaving’. Cate Le Bon’s latest LP Mug Museum was released late last year and it comes highly, highly recommended. If you’re in the UK, you’re in luck as she has announced a slew of tour dates for later in 2014, see here.
Bert and Henry are two galloping troubadours from the ragged Welsh coast.
The duo play acoustic pop songs with a rootsy, blues and folk underbelly, and they do it very well. Their music’s got a real charm to it and an earthy, kind of organic feel to it. Bert & Henry’s adventures, for now at least, are confined to two songs, which is just enough to get a feel for what this pair are all about. ‘Mary Ann’ utilizes an array of acoustic instruments, gentle strum and lovely vocal harmonies, airing a broken hearted tale in a more traditional folk fashion than it’s companion, ‘Not Waving But Raving’. The latter veers further left of field. It’s a powerful, stomping bassy country blues tune that’s fed through a vortex inhabited by Captain Beefheart influences, with a twist of The Small Faces, when they were knocking out their unique brand of late-Sixties Cockney psychedelia. Both tracks don’t take themselves too seriously either, and have just the right amount of off-kilter oddity and quirkiness.
That’s it. Simple. Now it’s time to check out ‘Mary Ann’ & ‘Not Waving But Raving’. Both tracks are below and available as free downloads. You can’t say fairer than that.
Praises were sung from rooftops when paths were last crossed with Radstewart and their wonky and wonderful, ramshackled lo-fi indie adventures a few weeks back.
The Cardiff four-piece kick off 2014 with news of a new EP Wiccans & Beatlemancers, out March 17th, and have released new track ‘Insane Parties’ to get us all in the mood. ‘Insane Parties’ is lo-fi, slacker pop, as fresh as it is irresistible and laced with clever songwriting, dry-witted and sardonic lyrics. It also contains the fabulous line, “If you go out and get drunk, in an native American headdress, then you’re a cunt”. One the best incidentally, since HMHB’s “Is your child hyperactive, or is he perhaps a twat?”, in their song, ‘Surging out of Convalescence. An insidiously catchy, plucky and utterly fun slice of lo-fi indie.
Wiccans & Beatlemancers will be released on March 17th through Alcopop! Records. Until then? Plenty of time to lap up ‘Insane Parties’, available to download free below & ‘Garage Faery’, a fizzing track taken from a recent split 12″ release on Art Is Hard / Reeks of Effort.
Sen Segur are quite the pop music recycling plant. These Welsh psych-rock wonders – Benjamin Ellis, Sior Amor, Dafydd Evans & Gethin Davies – melt down bit ‘n pieces from past decades of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s & ’90s, and press it all into something new and rather exciting.
Performing in both Welsh and English, the four-piece already have a number of releases under their belt, constituting to a fun and supremely engaging collection of modern psych-pop. Sen Segur’s own reserved dreamworld of odd ball wizardry is one of psychedelic playfulness, splotches of spaced out throwbacks and straight-up riffs which spills over into our dimension to produce lovely, soft and dizzying psych pop songs. When they find their groove, as they do with their latest singles ‘Love Zebra’ & ‘Get On Up (And Get Back Down)’, it is a blissfully enjoyable experience. Sen Segur have happened upon a sound sparkling with enough ingenuity and charm, to make the past seem like an undiscovered country, well worth taking a trip to. Oh yes. This is great stuff indeed.
All aboard for the wondrous and imaginative world of Sen Segur? You can listen to and download some choice cuts below.
Radstewart are a puntastic four-piece – Chris, Jac, Dylan and Calvin – from Cardiff (or near Cardiff at least).
Their’s is a wonky and wonderful, ramshackled lo-fi indie adventure, with clever songwriting, often laced with dry-witted lyrics. Radstewart’s sound is something approaching a mixture of Pavement with a touch of Parquet Courts and Pinkerton era Weezer, although one can imagine they’re probably sick to the back teeth of such comparisons. Regardless, it’s not bad company to be in with the latter particularly noticeable on ‘Arabesque Bedouin’. While there’s no doubting many bands have attempted a similar formula with the outcomes varying from the inspired to the woeful. Radstewart have however, got it spot on and found a neat sound, a perfect place between being too tight or too sloppy. Radstewart provide us with some lo-fi indie worthy of a furore and to rejoice in. In short, this stuff is so, so good.
There are a few choice selections below. If they tickle your fancy, you can ‘name your price’ and download their Whig Crooks & Beer Swindlers EP now, from bandcamp.
CaStLeS are Cynyr and Dion Hamer of We Are Animal, who are joined by Calvin Thomas on bass, completing the Welsh trio. Their music is an engrossing experience and a joy to behold, yet with an overwhelming oddity to it. Their reverb soaked melodies and jerking riffs are irrefutably infectious, all rounded off perfectly with an off-kilter oddness and some distinctly Welsh lilted vocals. The only fear is, if there is one, as this is a side-project it may not get the attention it really deserves. No doubt about it, there’s plenty of legs to this one. Also, in case you were wondering, there’s no need to Fret, We Are Animal are very much alive a kicking. The band are currently working on second album. A creative bunch aren’t they?
There are some choice cuts to whet the appetite below and if they are to your liking, there’s plenty more where that came from on Soundcloud.