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With the fourth Annual Welsh Language music day taking place this Friday (8 February), we’ve collated songs that you may, or may not have heard of to set the mood.
This year's edition coincides with the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages and will see an array of special events taking place across the country. To name a couple, Brains brewery play exclusively Welsh music in all 104 of its pubs, and FOCUS Wales are hosting a night on Saturday (9 February) at Tŷ Pawb in Wrexham with HMS Morris, Blind Wilkie McEnroe and others.
Keep up to date with all the activity on #dyddmiwsigcymru. It's especially worth keeping tabs on given Huw Stephens and Rhys Ifans are ambassadors and could make an exciting appearance somewhere. For now, here's seven tracks to consider adding to your playlist:
Gogz - 'Ffordd Hir Nol'
Formed in 1998, Gogz are one of the most underrated bands in the uk. This song ‘Ffordd Hir 'Nol’ is testament to why the band when they renamed The Hegihts got signed to Sony. Sadly, they split up shortly after, but any fan of Strokes-y hard hitting rock ‘n’ roll with riffs and mesmerising melodies ought to love this band. Singer Owain Ginsberg has been prolific ever since with most recent success coming with Hippies Vs Ghosts.
OSHH - 'Aflonyddu'
Remarkably talented North Wales singer with an ear as good as Gruff Rhys'. OSHH, real name, Osian Gwion Howells, is an occasional member of indie band Yr Ods, but for solo stuff writes leftfield electronic pop music with evocative soundscapes that envelope the listener. Watch the surreal video filmed in the beautiful Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia below.
Rohan - 'Mil O Fastiau'
An old one this - ‘Mil O Fastiau’ is an analog banger first released in 1984 and features sublime guitar solos from singer Charlie Goodhall, synth embellishments and a punk rock rhythm section. The strength is in the coming together of hard rock and prog influences. Crank this one from the Anglesey band loud.
Anhrefn - 'Duw Y Dyn Eira'
Anhrefn remain one of the most influential groups to emerge from the Welsh underground having been cited by both Manic Street Preachers and Super Furry Animals among others, 'Duw Y Dyn Eira' is a politically charged stomper that recalls Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu at their finest. We implore you give this a listen then check out their extensive back catalogue.
Ffa Coffi Pawb - 'Breichiau Hir'
Recognise the singer? That’s Gruff Rhys looking like he’s just joined the Stone Roses. The video came out in 1991, coinciding with the release of the Clymhalio cassette (recorded on Anglesey). The sonics certainly tie in to some where he and fellow band member Dafydd Ieuan would later go with Furries’ stuff. But what’s perphaps most enjoyable is seeing how even without record label budget Gruff Rhys and the band were able to pull off some brilliant results.
Gwenno’s gained regular 6Music plays and deservedly so. The Heavenly Recordings signee released her debut album of sci-fi-influenced electropop Y Dydd Olaf in 2014 and ‘Chwyldro’ is a highlight. It’s an immersive affair and with otherworldy, captivating vocals, and hypnotic, motorik bass. The singer has since gone on to release her Cornish album Le Kov which turned critics' heads in 2018. Star quality artist without a doubt.
Blind Wilkie McEnroe - 'Edrych I Mewn'
Something current here. This one’s from Carwyn Ginsberg, the singer who once went by the name Fennel Seeds. He’s since formed his most promising band yet. With Dave Elwyn and Mike Pandy in-tow, the trio craft gripping psychedelia - and are set to storm FOCUS Wales this year ,and the above mentioned night on 9 February at Tŷ Pawb. Check out the eye-catching video below:
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