Gruff Rhys - Yr Atal Genhedlaeth


I can't get my tongue round those Welsh words. It must be my Scando-Saxon genes.




Much as I love Gruff (and the Super Furries for that matter), I can't get my tongue round those Welsh words. It must be my Scando-Saxon genes. Not speaking Welsh means that I can't really give you much insight into what the songs are about, though to be fair Gruff did go to considerable lengths in explaining the stories behind some of them at the Paradiso the other night. There's one, "Pwdin Wy 1" and "Pwdin Wy 2" about a break up (where his lover goes to South America, due to her fiery temperament), there's another about some pirates. One lyric in yet another song ("Rhagluniaeth Ysgafn") translates rather beautifully as "light as the feather of a wren". (I know cos he told me).  But that's really all I can tell you.


Anyway, the music's the thing, isn't it? And that's why I can confidently predict you will be very satisfied in buying this album. Any release from the Placid Casual stable (the Super Furries' own imprint) will be strong on quirky, hippy-ish melodies. And quietly un-hinged psychedelia. After all, that's what SFA truly excel at, is it not? The music is all low key and pastoral in flavour, (powered by cheap car-boot sale synths, and no, thats not a criticism, its just something else Gruff told me) and suffused with a personal, Toy Town-ish feel that is always charming and fun. The definite highlight is "Ny Yw Y Byd", a rumbustuous acoustic stomp, very much a piss take of 70s folk. If I have a criticism, its that its too short, even at 11 tracks. But thats just me. Get it, you'll love it.


Words: Richard Foster