Sera : StraeonFolkal Records 2015
Sera is a Caernarfon based bilingual singer songwriter, with an extensive and captivating back catalogue. This 2015 EP is more straight contemporary folk than it's immediate predecessor Collide, with less country or Americana influence apparent, and all the songs here are sung in Welsh.
Esgyn is a slightly mournful opener, with a full band, and is a strong, atmospheric folk song, but the next track, Mond am Eiliad is something else. Sera is joined by co-writer Siôn Russell Jones for a quite arresting song that starts with guitar and their two voices, before Sion Lewis' subtle cello threads into the weave.
Agor dy Galon is simple with an underpinning quiet synth backing, and showcases Sera's clear voice. Oes yn Ol was Sera's strong Can i Gymru / Song for Wales 2015 entry (she was a finalist) - it's an exquisite, uplifting song, with ukulele and fiddle prominent at the end. Alaw ti has a central fiddle part from co-writer Jenn Williams, with Sian James on harp and backing vocal; the purest folk of the set and none the worse for that.
It is of note that Eddie Al-Shakarchi contributes on Mond am Eiliad and Agor dy Galon, and that strength of those two tracks, especially the former, bodes well for his production role on Sera's next album - Little Girl - slated for summer 2016 release.
An excellent EP - with the soaring Mond am Eiliad especially a flawless and memorable song.