Mei Emrys : Llwch29.09.17 : Recordiau Côsh
This is a superb debut release from Caernarfon singer-songwriter Mei Emrys.
The album has already had a burst of recognition - three of the songs have been 'Track of the Week' on Radio Cymru, and Adam Walton from BBC Radio Wales has accurately compared its 'confident swagger' to Oasis and Kasabian - but it deserves a lot more.
Built from scintillating guitar sounds, infectious rhythms and heartfelt vocals, all skilfully recorded / produced by Rich Roberts at Ferlas Studio, Penrhyndeudraeth for Ywain Gwynedd's Recordiau Côsh, Llwch (Dust) has an inescapable rock dynamism that sets it apart.
The first few moments set out the album's intent - opening track Lawr has the sudden energy and keen pop sensibility of Elastica in their pomp.
As well as production, Rich Roberts has filled in instrumentally around Mei Emrys' guitar, voice and synth parts - his electric guitar and propulsive drumming equally effective additions. With all the resultant charge and momentum this is a perfect driving album if ever one was made, either fast and open-top (Lawr, Glaw Mis Awst, Brenhines y Llyn Du, Saetha fi Lawr, and Paid a Choelio y Gwir), or at a statelier pace (Goleudy, Haf Yma and Dibyn). More A55 than autobahn, but with an unstoppable impetus either way; music with animation and tempo that maps to the promise and freedom of an empty road.
There is also room for the near-anthemic Môr-forynion before Llwch is closed by Dyddia' Dwytha'r Rhyfel - its purest pop moment - confirming that Mei Emrys can't help but write engaging, melodic and elating songs. The album is sung in Welsh from start to finish; rock/pop as vibrant as this is an important signifier of rude cultural health maybe - but if you don't understand a word, it won't matter one jot, it never does with music this good.
MEI EMRYS & BAND I Môr-forynion