Mr Huw - Saim Gwahanol
Info: Dark pop from North Wales – 'Gwna Dy Feddwl I lawr' (Make Your Mind Down) is Mr Huw’s 5th album was released on 25th November, 2016, as a limited edition CD and download on Welsh indpendent record label, Recordiau Cae Gwyn.
The first thing that strikes me listening to Mr Huw's latest album, GWNA Dy Feddwl I lawr, is that it retains the overall merriment of 2015's excellent Du Lllun EP, but noticeably places a more experimental and electro-pop sound side by side with the indie-pop base of the former release. Opener 'Cig Amrwd' is about as arresting and sensual knock-out start to an album as you're likely to hear, electronic drum pads pop your eyes out of your head and tickle your ear drums intensely. A barnstorming track with thick chugging chord progressions that is most uplifting.
'Saim Gwahanol' (above video), is what I personally would associate with the grand tradition of Welsh indie-rock, the irrelevancy of not understanding the lyrics, but really feeling like they're speaking to you purely based on how the music is so up tempo and the delivery of the vocals. 'Werth Dim Byd' is a corker of a song, again Mr Huw employs that truly appealing snappy drum beat and thick bass-lines, a rock fans track, but also with a day-glo 80's alternative pop tinge, á la Duran Duran or Simple Minds.
Mr Huw - Gwendidau
On 'Gwendidau' (above) we straddle between late 90's and early 00's alternative guitar-pop, Strokes-esque guitars and a straight-forward beat show that Mr Huw can make simplicity, as well as intricacy, sound very appealing to the ears. After the lo-fi psychedelic pause of 'Anocheladwy', things go all punk on us on 'Llosgfynyddoedd', it's like The Ramones meet The Jam and again, it's highly enjoyable rock music. 'Darnau O'n Cyrff' is another standout on Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr, half jangle-pop, half post-punk, The La's and The Cure in unison, a strange but fully functional marriage.
The genre-bending journey is far from over even as we approach the end of the album, 'Dioddefwyr', has a tiny strand of mid-80's electronic music and again that post-punk leaning of the previous track. On the album's remaining three tracks Mr Huw boomerangs back to the start and has a mini experimental blow-out, from the chilled out ambient sounds of 'Du' to last track 'Bwystfilaidd' wild contemporary electro-pop abandon.
In some ways Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr feels like Mr Huw's ode to all of the musical influences he's enjoyed throughout his life to date, an homage of sorts, but they are fully engulfed in his infectious trademark experimentalism, it's a very broad range yet incredibly easy to absorb from the very beginning. With his fifth album, he is clearly far from the end of his journey through music, and long may it continue.
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