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If you want a quick run down of the acts defining the Welsh music scene look no further. From folk to rock and back, there’s a lot of talent you need to know about.
Singer-songwriter Harri first picked up a guitar at the age of 14 after a Jimi Hendrix CD brought on a musical epiphany. He quickly reached a level of skill eluding most people after a lifetime and began writing his own songs, performing around Cardiff and gaining a fond reputation as an upstart with brazen talent. A sweet, smokey, soulful voice and deftly shimmering guitar are usually the cornerstones of his songs, but the range of influences from jazz, afrobeat, soul, folk and funk to country and old school R ‘n’ B, make for an eclectic style. Harri released his first E.P under the name of Whistling Wind and is set to record his debut album soon.
Musician Gwenno found fame in the Pipettes, where she was known as Gwenno Pipette. She now performs solo with her latest album Y Dydd Olaf on Heavenly Recordings released in 2015. It won Best Welsh Album at the 2015 National Eisteddfod and the Welsh Music Prize. Other career highs include touring as a synth player with Pnau and Elton John and appearing on The Boy Least Likely To’s 2013 album The Great Perhaps. Gwenno speaks Cornish and Welsh and broke into the music scene playing self-penned songs in both languages.
Named after a song by The Cure, this band of Welsh boys follows in the same new wave tradition. As Noisey put it, they ‘thread together starry-eyed goth pop… the crushing existentialism of The Birthday Party, and more riffs than The Stone Roses’ cutting room floor, [holding] you up high just to punch you in the stomach.’ They’re signed to Alter and you can catch them at upcoming shows supporting The Jesus Mary Chain this October.
Driven and talented nice guy Sion is a singer-songwriter who has been steadily making a name for himself for a while now. His music spans from the heart wrenching to the soul cheering, gilded by his beautiful voice. He released his debut album “And Suddenly” via Still Small Voice Music and his music has been used in the background on the British soap operas Coronation Street and EastEnders. He’s signed with BDi music and has performed across the globe, from Japan to the US.
In their own words, this many-pieced band from Cardiff ‘are renowned for their unique and exciting blend of Afro funk and Hip-Hop. Utilizing cuts, a full horn section and rhythm section as well the MC stylings of Skunkadelic, they’ve been frequently described as having a colossal sound and an explosive live show. After 2016’s critically-acclaimed EP “We Don Land”, the band is currently writing their debut album for release in the near future.’
Solo artist Kizzy brings together her Welsh and Bajan heritage with bilingual songs and a unique soul-folk jazz sound. Though just getting started and still at the beginning of her twenties, she’s already been played on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru as well as playing live on on S4C, Children in Need for BBC 1 and the 6 Nations advert campaign. Kizzy has won awards including the ‘Brwydr Y Bandiau’ at the National Eisteddfod 2013 and a Welsh Singer-Songwriter competition leading to her recording her first EP ‘Temporary Zone’ with Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ co-writer).
Lily Beau has a gorgeous voice and writes witty songs with a swagger and skill that belie her young age. She says she came to music through her parents; her father’s undying love for vinyl and her mother’s constant belting in the shower. Now she lives in London, studying at ELAM (East London Arts and Music). She cites her influences as Melody Gardot and Beyonce, and genres like jazz and pop.
Tali Källström, the band’s front woman defines their sound as ‘heavy pop’ as opposed to a label as well-worn as punk, with an insubordinance which is precisely the point. This is from a woman who went on tour a month after giving birth, and then used an image of her breastfeeding as EP artwork. The group’s songs include flipping female objectification in their 2015 breakout song ‘Make A Man’ and more recently, ‘Glasgow Kisses,’ which is “a nursery rhyme about adult life. A bittersweet study of the fear of commitment and how people protect themselves by hiding their emotions.” Along with Tali, the group is composed of other original Rhodri Daniel on guitar, and a changing collection of musicians.
Neo-folk artist Aled Rheon creates heart-felt, beautiful, simply-woven songs in the vein of Meic Stevens, Nick Drake and Richard James. He performs in his native Welsh and English and released his debut EP ‘Sêr yn Disgyn’ in 2013. He’s played all over at FOCUS Wales, Pili Pala Fest, Big Cwtch, Tafwyl, the National Eisteddfod, The Hay Festival and Green Man Festival. Catch his music on Spotify.