15 Welsh Songs You Should’ve Heard This Year

15 Welsh Songs You Should’ve Heard This Year

Alright, so it’s by my judgement and depends what’s available at the time on soundcloud. Hence there’re actually sixteen songs here… you’ll see at the end. I’ve added some self-explanatory, and some more imaginative descriptions, but don’t worry too much about reading those; better to just hit play and listen for yourself.



Artefact Siren – Simultaneously taut and ethereal, like a kite in a breeze.

Bryde Less – Always transfixing, her voice soars and rages with emotion on this tale of unequal love.

Chain Of Flowers Flesh Blood And Bone – Slightly more upbeat and jangly that we’re used to from this gloomy lot. I did say just slightly.

DISJOY Divided – Building starkly to crash in a wave of frenzied noise, ebb and repeat.

Estrons Strobe Lights – Boisterous shout-a-long from a bunch of Strangers.

Excellent Skeleton Think I’ll Run – Give it two listens and you’ll be singing this in your sleep, desperately trying to remember where you heard it.

Florence Black The One – Classic rock with a hint of grunge, for people who aren’t old enough to remember either.

GRAVVES My Pet Rihanna – I hope the pet in question is a Tasmanian devil crossed with a hurricane, as there’s no way this song is about a gerbil.

Himalayas Thank God I’m Not You – To be fair, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else if I could write songs like this, with so much venom yet compelling the listener to dance like nothing’s wrong.

The Immediate Not Shabby – Beneath some intriguing metaphors, is an uplifting ode to coping with less-than-perfect mental health.

Lastigband Jelo – The sound of a summer morning spent stumbling joyfully, maybe lightly intoxicated, through the Welsh countryside.

My Name Is Ian Fight, Drink And Die On TV – Cardiff’s new favourite late-night festival singalong. There’ll be tees with this on everywhere next.

Neurotic Fiction Generals – Gently choppy pop, like the sun sparkling off a breezy lagoon.

Silent Forum Trust – Relentlessly agitated post-indie* that you know just from listening is explosive live.

SUNS Wear Me Thin – This drowsily beautiful slice of summery bliss hides unexpectedly agonised lyrics.

And the bonus track: Twisted Ankle Netfix & Loathing – EP Eat A Phone was released last year, but wasn’t on soundcloud then to make the appropriate list; I wanted to give it a shout anyway, so here’s an extra.



*Term stolen from TRAAMS, I think it was.

10 More Welsh Songs You Should’ve Heard In 2016

10 More Welsh Songs You Should’ve Heard In 2016

 
ARTEFACT – The Morrigan
Re-recording of a track from their demo, this version features on forthcoming debut album Votive Offering out 1st February.

Beach Fatigue – Only You
Stand-alone single, released on cassette with bonus songs and live versions of some album tracks.

Birdcage – Premonition
From recent fourth EP, Let Me Think.

Bryde – Wouldn’t That Make You Feel Good?
Second single from EP 2.

Estrons – I’m Not Your Girl
Alright, if you follow new Welsh music you will have already heard EP She’s Here Now, but I could hardly leave this off.

GRAVVES – Tribes
Lead single from debut EP Rattle, which will be out 10th February.

Himalayas – Ecstasy
Title track from their debut EP, available now.

HODAD – Running
From 1001 Dads Per Second, also check out recent EP Surface.

Pale Angels – You Don’t Dance
Second album Daydreaming Blues out now.

Tibet – There Is A Place
Latest single, following double EP Above The Moon earlier in the year.

Event Preview: Sŵn Festival 2016

Event Preview: Sŵn Festival 2016

I walk to the door of the pub, get ID’d. Show my wristband, the festival is over 18s only, that has to be quicker than digging around to find any actual identification on this rainy late October night. The security guard realises what I’m looking for and points me to a different door, up the stairs he says, that’s where the bands are. I’ve lost count already of how many acts I’ve seen tonight, but the first in this particular venue; I follow his instructions round the corner and finally inside, up to the live room. As I gingerly push open the door to a fairly crowded space, I’m hit by a wall of heat and sound, the music has already started and reverb hits me physically before I have time to scrabble for my earplugs. When next I see Chain Of Flowers (which is to happen innumerable times over the coming years) I’ll be more prepared; for now I take a deep breath and push my way through the audience to get a better view.

This moment came to be the most lasting memory of my inaugural venture to Sŵn festival back in 2013. Something about the contrast of unavoidably disgusting late October Welsh weather against the bright room packed with warm bodies and noise more alluring that I’d known existed in the city a month previously, sum up the reason I’ve been to every weekender and one-day DimSŵn event since. Tomorrow sees the festival begin to celebrate its 10th year with Crows, Pumarosa, Sandinistas and Estrons (last minute stand-ins for Sprink King) and Meilyr Jones in Tramshed before expanding to a dozen venues for the rest of the weekend. As usual my schedule is jam-packed with options that I’m just going to have to choose between based on my mood at the time, but here are a few acts that I’ll definitely (hopefully!) not be missing:

Saturday
Soul Structure – 2:45-3:15 Fuel
Lovers Open Fire – 3:15-4:00 The Big Top
Superglu – 4:30-5:15 Four Bars
FALLS – 4:45-5:30 The Big Top
Bryde – 5:45-6:30 Clwb Ifor Bach (downstairs)
Silent Forum – 6:15-7:00 The Big Top
Estrons – 6:45-7:30 The Moon Club
Broken Hands – 8:00-8:45 Clwb Ifor Bach (upstairs)
Sports Team – 9:15-10:00 Four Bars
McClusky* – 9:45-10:30 The Moon Club
Tibet – 11:00-11:30 O’Neills

Sunday
Shame – 1:30-2:00 Clwb Ifor Bach (upstairs)
Adverse Camber – 2:00-2:30 O’Neills
Wolf Girl – 3:30-4:00 The Moon Club
Fehm – 5:15-5:45 Fuel
Bad Breeding 6:15-7:00 Gwdihŵ
Dingus Khan – 7:45-8:30 Gwdihŵ
Dream Wife – 9:45-10:30 Clwb Ifor Bach (downstairs)
My Name Is Ian – 11:00-11:45 Four Bars

Below you’ll find a playlist of as many of these acts as I was able to locate on soundcloud, the others I guess you’ll just have to check out on faith. Or maybe don’t, as you can find the full schedule here and loads more info over at Sŵn’s website to help you make your own decisions who to see.

If you’re not sure yet whether this festival will be worth your time, just think about how much you like music. (If you don’t I have to question why you’re even reading this, unless you’re my little sister, in which case thanks for the support Jojo!). If it’s death metal or acid house that you’re into then there are other events throughout the yeah which cater to those, maybe not so much this one. However if alt folk/weird pop/indie rock and post-punk interest you, it’s definitely worth popping along to wander between venues and stumble across your new favourite artist. Whether it’s a local band who’ve been under your nose all along and you just didn’t know where to look, or an obscure act from some far-flung corner of the UK who you’d likely never have had a chance to hear otherwise, there will be someone who you end up begging Sŵn to bring back next year. And even if that doesn’t work, you’ll be there again anyway to find yet more new music to fall in love with, because you know it will happen, it always does.