Review Archive

‘GWYLLT’ - engaging melodies, soft harmonies and lyrical Welsh language

(July 08, 2013)

Gwyllt are a Cardiff-based band and ‘GWYLLT’ is their first release … and it’s in the Welsh language GWYLLT(Gwyllt means ‘wild’). Like us at FolkWords you may not speak Welsh but that will not diminish the enjoyment. This is a brand of folk rock awash with instantly engaging melodic hooks, soft harmonies and the lyrical Welsh language – which amply makes up for any lack of understanding. In some ways it actually enhances the melodic feel of the album.

'Dociau Lerpwl' (‘Liverpool Docks’) has a deeply attractive melody, evocative strings, touching vocal and tells about leaving rural Wales to earn money in the industries of Liverpool. The song describes the change in lifestyle, longing for home, family and rural life. Its hero meets a girl at a local dance, marries, starts a family (in Liverpool) and wonders where is 'home' indirectly reflecting how many young people leave the country for the cities. 'Ar Lannau'r Taf' ('The Banks of the Taff') is blues-tinged a tale of homelessness, isolation and hardship; the cold nights of winter and everyday struggles some people face in society. There’s a buoyant feel to 'Mynd yn hen'('Getting Old') - two people plant a seed and grow old watching it flourish into a tree. As they age they face the ravages of time with memory loss, arthritis and white hair – when one passes away the lyrics sum it all up: "There is no need to comfort me, as now the seed has grown our love lies in the roots of that tree."

Find ‘GWYLLT’ on Sbrigyn Ymborth, a small independent record label - if this album is anything to go by you’ll hear more from both.
On the album Gwyllt are Amlyn Parry (guitar, bass, mouth organ) Alun Gaffey (guitar, bass, backing vocals) Richard Chitty (drums) Mirain Evans (violin) and Llio Non (backing vocals) also listed as ‘doing a bit of this a bit of that and having fun’ contributing to the album are Deian Owain, Ceren Roberts and Sion Meurig. Since recording the line-up of Gwyllt has changed and they now have Ifan Jones (drums) Marc Real (bass, backing vocals), Meic Parry (keyboards, backing vocals).

(With thanks to Gwyllt for the translation.)

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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