Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Welsh Wednesday #18

#18: Ni Yw Y Byd by Gruff Rhys

In January 2005, Gruff Rhys released his first solo album 'Yr Atal Genhedlaeth'. It was in many ways the polar opposite of what the Super Furry Animals had been doing. While the band were sounding bigger than ever, with more ambitious and expansive sounds and production techniques, Gruff's record was very stripped back and basic. It was also performed completely in the Welsh language. This was clearly no cynical attempt to cash-in on the Furries' success, especially seeing as it was released with minimal publicity on the band's own Placid Casual label rather than through Sony who they were signed to at the time.

Ni Yw Y Byd (We Are The World) is typical of the album in that while it sounds deliberately low budget and low-key, it is ridiculously catchy, an example of one of Gruff's best qualities - the ability to pen a damn good tune. Its playful key changes lead up to what I suppose could be considered some kind of understated crescendo featuring a flute/recorder (I can't work out which) solo.

It has always been my favourite track from the album so that's why it's a Welsh Wednesday choice.