Mr Huw : Gwna Dy Feddwl i Lawr

Gwna Dy Feddwl i Lawr (Make Your Mind Down) is Mr Huw's 5th album, and follows last year's exhilarating Du Llun EP - this time around click play, sit back and you clearly have nothing more or less than a set of inventive, electrifying indie pop songs to listen to.

It is a fascinating and also visceral collection. There's the sharpness of 60s garage in the elemental guitar sound, and the zeal of late 80s Julian Cope in the way pop, psychedelia and rock are effectively fused to make surfing, melodic songs with edge and interest. What keeps it all taut is the tension between these influences - what makes it all work is that Mr Huw has a keen sense of what makes an infectious pop song.

There's an awful lot of ideas crammed into the thirteen tracks, it takes a few listens to orientate yourself. Cumulatively it is as intoxicating as a long night out in an unfamiliar but exciting, edgy and hyper-real town.

The album starts with the bouncing, blank riff intro of Cig Amrwd (Raw Meat) which rapidly mutates into an angular piece of music with a gliding chorus. After that start economical bursts of clipped, knowing post-punk riffs punctuate freewheeling, dark pop with enough energy to punch gaping holes in post Brexit anomie.

In the overall beguiling mix there are marginal high points - Cnawd (Flesh) is a short, brilliant, dense guitar flight; Llosgfynyddoedd (Volcanoes) is a energised, upbeat grimy bubble-gum pop - a set ending song that would guarantee an encore anywhere; Dioddefwyr (Victims) has a superb keyboard part, and there's definite humour in the title of Cân I'w Thaflu (Throwaway Song), which is two minutes forty four seconds of anything but.

It all ends softly with Du (Black) - a slow and gentle lament-paced song - at odds with the rest of the album, but no less convincing; it is a really accomplished piece built with drum machine and synth, with a translated lyric as dark as its title:

If I had a heart I’m sure it would be black
But would it be a reason to smile
If I had a heart I’m sure it would be black
And would have stopped bleeding
If I was able to feel everything
Or feel the things that warm
If I was able to feel everything
Or feel this that I’m missing

The album is sung entirely in Welsh - but there is more than enough in the bass lines, sounds and melodies to hold anyone's attention, fluent or not - the louder you turn up the volume the more sense it makes; the more you listen the more you want to hear it again. Gwna Dy Feddwl i Lawr tastes of Fridays in 1987. If that does not convince you, one copy of the album will feature a Mr Huw toe print. Buy it, and if you are the lucky one the toe print will be the unique, sock flavoured cherry on top of a very, very good cake.

Mr Huw and his band will be launching the album at Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda on Friday 25th November 2016.


MR HUW I Darnau O'n Cyrff