Cerys Matthew picks some gems from her ‘sonic treasure chest’ of Welsh Music. It doesn’t sound all that enthralling, but surprisingly enough Cerys manages to conjure up a classic compilation with a flavour and atmosphere all of its own.
I love Wales. I’m English, but I’ve definitely inherited some Celtic genes because this is right up my musical valley. It’s not unlike Scandinavian and Scottish folk which I also love, but the Welsh language adds a beauty and integrity to proceedings that make this collection unique. The only improvement would be to add pictures of laughing, attractive ginger welsh people and some sheep on the cover rather than Cerys’ smug visage.
The best songs are the stark, minimal folk of ‘Wasod’ by Fernhill, the gorgeous mellow tones of Gwyneth Glyn’s ‘Y Forfowyn’ and the brutal and guttural chanting on Y Datgeiniaid’s ‘Awdl I Ddewi.’ Even Cerys comes up trumps with ‘Myfanwy’, but best of all is the Treorchy Male Voice Choir’s version of ‘Men of Harlech’ which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
Another triumph for Songlines that I initially didn’t fancy at all. Now where can I get my hands on some more Welsh music?