Posts Tagged ‘Gwenno’

“Here’s a contemporary visual document exploring what truth and myth is, what Le Kov is about – where we’re at, and how we got here. A collaboration between Steve Glashier and Gwenno, exploring landscape and a sense of place. A postcard of the now that may one day be forgotten, so let’s enjoy the moment before it disappears.”

Following the success of her second album ‘Le Kov’, Gwenno now shares a new exciting short film titled ‘Le Kov, a landscape…‘ a collaboration with filmmaker, Steve Glashier.

The film premiered on Rough Trade:

Gwenno has just recorded her second solo album entirely in Cornish, the language she learned as a child. The follow-up to Welsh-language Y Dydd Olaf (2014), which won the Welsh Music prize, Le Kov would be a fantastic album whatever it was sung in – spacey, strange and richly melodic – but there’s no doubt that the language gives it an added sense of purpose. Without wishing to make any rash claims, it seems likely that it’s the first ever Cornish electronic psych-pop concept album.

There has been a vibrant Cornish-language folk scene for decades. The late singer and poet Brenda Wootton was its best-known exemplar, while Saunders has a soft spot for a band called Bucca, who released a solitary album,

The website Kernow Beat has assembled an exhaustive database of wildly obscure bands from Cornwall, pulling back the curtain on a vibrant regional music scene: who knew punk took such a grip on Penzance in the late 1970s? But, alas, not one of the frequently mind-boggling names it lists (Constable Zippo’s Electric Commode Band, Furry Vermin, Big Dick and the Deviants) seems to have used Cornish. Its solitary appearance in something approaching pop was on Aphex Twin’s 2001 album Drukqs,

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Gwenno, who has released a wonderful debut album in  Y Dydd Olaf’ (The Last Day) mixeing ethereal electronic pop, with a strong political message all sung in her mother tongue (Welsh, well except for the one sung in Cornish that is).  It’s a million pop light years away from her former life as one-third of uber girl group the Pipettes and some of her early solo tunes.  But, of course, this sort of songwriting talent doesn’t just happen overnight, it must have always been there, but many of us were probably too dazzled by polka dots and girl group chants to see it!

It’d be very lazy to describe Gwenno as morphing from polka dot pop princess into a Welsh EMA, but perhaps we could draw some parallels if only we could speak Welsh. What we do know is her album takes its name from Owain Owain’s 1976 novel Sci-fi novel of the same name, which is set in a dystopian future in which robots subjugate the human race via medication.  The album address big theme’s such as patriarchal society, government-funded media propaganda, cultural control, technology, isolation and the importance of, and the threat to minority languages. After a limited release on Peski Records last year, its about to be re-released on Heavenly Records, and it’s quite stunning whatever language you speak