“I like a boy in uniform, school uniform…” Thankfully, not my words, but the words of Gwenno Saunders in her guise as part of one of my favourite pop bands ever, THE PIPETTES. Yes, they went through numerous line-up changes, but that did little to hide the fact that there was something supremely fantastic going on. Song after song of incredible pop, each album like a ‘Best Of’, threatening to overshadow every other chorus you’ve ever heard. Yes, its safe to say, that I HEART THE PIPETTES ( and always will). So what next for Gwenno? Well if you had answered ” An album called ‘Y Dydd Olaf’ which is sci-fi inspired Krautrock, sung completely in Welsh… obviously” I would have called you a damn liar.
To bastardise Welsh literary critic Pennar Davies‘ preface to Owain Owain‘s book of the same title:
“Nothing like this album has been seen before either in our language or in any other language. We should rejoice that such brilliance exists in Welsh music.”
and I stand by that. I’ve never heard anything like this before, and I have got to say, its a wake up call for my prejudice against music in anything other than English. I think the combination of the sci-fi imagery and the alien language (to me anyway!) serves to transport the listener to the dystopian world that the novel suggests. I’ve had this on my walkman for a couple of weeks now and I just walk around london in this dreamy daze, looking up at buildings, never looking anyone directly in the the eye for fear that something might happen, something I can’t control. It’s a strange feeling being completely taken over by an album, but thats the power of ‘Y Dydd Olaf’.
It’s not all walls of dystopia and sci-fi noodlings, its mostly well constructed pop that would sound right at home on any boombox in Kreuzberg. The LP, CD and digital version of the album is available through the awesome record label PESKI and if you want the tape, head to the POST/POP/SHOP now!
Find out more about GWENNO in these places:
You can also catch her on tour (and buy the tape off the merch table) with Super Furry Animals front man Gruff Rhys right now. Check if Gwenno is coming to a town near you (she probably is, if you are in the UK)