New : V4VelindrePinned : 27.09.2021
You only have to take a cursory look at the world about you to see that the return to ‘normal’ is at best built on ambivalent foundations.
What is certain is that some things will never be the same post-covid.
The unluckiest of us are left bereaved or scarred by disease. Many are still isolated.
Communities have changed. In many Welsh villages, metal chisels on cold stone echoed the rhythms made by people clapping in solidarity with frontline workers, as homes were converted to holiday lets, a cruel hollowing out of place for quick profit.
The health and social care sectors are devastated, their staff exhausted.
If music and culture can offer warmth, light and hope in this situation, then this project is a definite source of all.
V4Velindre is a mix tape for the NHS. Kevin McGrath, a Welsh music writer, has curated it for the benefit of his local cancer centre.
There are 44 tracks, and they are often absurdly good. Just forcing your ears past the opening T-Rex on a waltzer brilliance of Bandicoot to reach eventually the beatific acoustic haze of Matthew Frederick’s Hay on Wye is a hard task. Hitting replay is too great and too regular a temptation. From start to finish, this is a superbly crafted compilation.
V4Velindre is available for £7 from Bandcamp from October 1st.
New : Papur Wal : Amser Mynd AdraPosted : 09.10.2021
Cardiff based trio Papur Wal have released a flawless debut. Melody, melancholy and elemental pop rapture; Amser Mynd Adra is a treasure trove of songs to keep close in bleak times. [Read More]
New : Findlay Napier : It Is What It IsPosted : 01.10.2021
This beguiling new album, his fourth solo release, reaffirms Findlay Napier as a distinct and cultivated singer-songwriter, with a spirited voice all of his own. [Read More]
New : Eve Goodman : Wave Upon Wave EPPosted : 12.09.2021
Eve Goodman has confirmed her status as an artist hard on a road to somewhere; Wave Upon Wave is an exquisite release, created from nothing but wisdom, light and grace. [Read More]
New : Khasi-Cymru Collective : 'Sai-thaiñ ki SurPosted : 05.09.2021
From a four year exploration of the traces of Welsh chapel influence on the culture of the Khasi Hills, Gareth Bonello and his Khasi collaborators have produced a fitting celebration of cultural connection; an album that is an earthen, life-affirming delight. [Read More]
From the Margins : 2020 Albums of the Year
- Welsh folk musician Angharad Jenkins, who plays fiddle in Calan and DnA, describes how two youthful cultural experiences shaped her future, and talks about the magic she found in an extraordinary one-man play about the life of one of Wales' towering political figures. [More]
- Ben Webb’s distinctive voice and songwriting are key elements of Brighton folk collective Bird in the Belly's brooding creative energy. He performs solo and writes as Jinnwoo - under that guise he is also one quarter of the sublime unaccompanied traditional song project, Green Ribbons. He details why Penda's Fen, Bird in the Bush and Sara Kane's Collected Plays are important landmarks in his cultural hinterland. [More]
- Co-founder of The Dark Mountain Project, novelist, poet and recovering environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth explains why three writers - Annie Dillard, Jack Gilbert and John Moriarty - have inspired his own work over the last decade. [More]
- Edgelarks are one of the British Isles most accomplished folk duos, bringing together exquisite instrumentation and voice, musical inventiveness and a poetic lyrical depth. Hannah Martin outlines why a book that maps the connection between the environment and our own folkloric identity, an experimental folk project and an inspirational Canadian festival are etched in her memory. [More]
- Bob Kettle sings, plays the mandolin and wears a top hat in England's most vital folk band, Merry Hell. He also writes superb songs. In a fascinating guest post Bob enthuses about Wigan Diggers Festival, author Laura Bates and the Shakespeare North Project. [More]
- Christina Alden is a third of Norwich based trio Alden,Patterson and Dashwood. A band noted for the humanity and warmth of their fusion of English and American folk, Christina chose a book that inspired a song and two albums that have illuminated her own musical path as key cultural moments. [More]
- The hallmark of Welsh folksinger Owen Shiers' music is a connection to place, culture and history - in this interview he details the impact of the mid-winter pagan tradition Mari Lwyd in Dinas Mawddwy, a memorable harvest party and a formative musical trip to West Africa on his work. [More]