Aislin Evans – “Feel About You”.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

This is a new artist to me, and I’d assume she’s generally rather new to the music scene because I’ve only found two or so of her songs so far. She’s from London, and I really like her lyrics, she seems to always write them very emotional, so far at least. I also like some synthpop like hers once in a while, so Aislin Evans is definitely one of my non folk British faves right now.

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Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle moon, colour of the day).

Oh my! I just couldn’t wait to share with you guys something from this album! I was talking about it some time last month, well I guess around the beginning of May, it was released on May 1st. But as you can see it took a while because it’s only available on the streaming services since yesterday so although I have the album since as soon as I got to know it was released, only now I can share something with you. In a way that’s actually good though because I could familiarise myself with the whole album, with my music crushes it always takes me loads of time to wholely satisfy my musical cravings when they release something new and I always want to know it thoroughly and from all the possible angles.

I am really so, so impressed with this album! I wrote about it on my blog already earlier so I won’t be repeating myself but it just made me fall into pieces the first time I listened to it, so fascinated, engrossed, bewitched and just full of emotions I was, and even though I listened to all the songs and the album as a whole for many times already it still has theΒ  power over me, and I’m listening to it right now as well. It’s always hard to pick something you think is the best or that you love the most from things of which you love all, but I wonder whether it’s not the best album of Gwilym so far in my ranking, or whether it would be if I had a ranking. πŸ˜€ I am just so happy that my current music crush is so artistically fertile and unlike all my previous music crushes I am actually able to thoroughly celebrate all the joys that come with an appearance of a new album. πŸ˜€

This new album is called “Arenig”, which is in reference to Arenig Fawr – a mountain in Snowdonia in North Wales, and also the title track of this album is a poem written and read by Gwilym’s great uncle – Euros Bowen – about this mountain, which is a really beautiful poem. It’s hard to believe for me in a way that this beautiful album is an effect of improvisation, but that’s apparently how it is. I know it’s often so that things come out much better when improvised in music, but it makes me think that they all – Gwilym and all the people who contributed to the album – must be remarkably skillful improvisers, which I think is fairly rare. Talking about the contributors, there is Patrick Rimes on violin, he plays in the Welsh folk band called Calan which I also like, brilliant harpist from Scotland but with Welsh roots and who also speaks Welsh Gwen MaIri (I love her harp skills πŸ˜‚ ), and they both also played on Gwilym’s first album “O Groth Y Ddaear”, and there is also Marit FΓ€lt, who plays viola, and, if I understood correctly, (I suppose I did given her Scandi-sounding name), she’s from Norway, so there’s even a little bit of a Nordic accent here! πŸ™‚

I had a real problem with what I am going to choose as the first piece from this album to share with you, I even thought maybe I’ll just link to the entire album and maybe write some extensive review or something but felt too shy to do such a grandiose thing as seriously publicly review one of my crushes’ album, I always write down my reviews of albums I love for myself and I relish in doing so but never published that anywhere. πŸ˜€ But after some deep thinking I came to the conclusion that the most beautiful piece on this album for me, regarding the melody, the performance and the lyrics is “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd”, which is a traditional song, though the second verse is known to be written by John Ceiriog Hughes. It’s incredibly evocative, magnetic and enchanting, and just don’t know how else to describe it adequately. πŸ˜€

The thing I really like about traditional music, one of many things, especially from Gwilym, and there are also a couple other Celtic people I can think of right now, is the words. I mean, when I was listening to this album before I read the lyrics and translations, I understood some bits and pieces, it wasn’t very much, but I could still thoroughly enjoy music because that’s how it is with folk music very often – even if it is in the most out there language you can still understand the language of music itself and connect with it almost as deeply as through the actual language. But when I read the lyrics, I realised that there are not only plenty of new, enticing, luscious, colourful, magical Welsh words for me to discover, (I didn’t even know that moon is lloer, I only knew the word lleuad for moon in Welsh but it seems like they have two! I now can’t stop wondering what’s the difference, will have to do some research after I write this post, I lthink loer sounds even better), but also a fair handful of English words in the translations that I didn’t know previously. I just love such discoveries! And all those linguistic findings also satisfied my synaesthesia very much, so it’s not only the music. The same was with the previous album “Detholiad O Hen Faledi I”, well actually there were even more new English words to me. That shows how sophisticated folk music can be at times, even if it might not always seem so. πŸ™‚

OK, end of my elaborate. Here’s the translation of the song, which I’ve taken from

Gwilym’s website,

and below is the song, although it’s on Spotify, so very sadly only those of you who have Spotify will be able to listen to it whole, I didn’t see it on Youtube or anywhere that would be a bit more inclusive.

 

Gentle moon the colour of day,

in pain and in sorrow, I’m in a sad daydream.

From splendid astonishment,

my heart is so weak I shan’t live much longer.

When I saw your face you wounded me like a sword,

I received an injury without realising it,

tonight I’m ready for my grave.

Oh good gentle goddess, hear this injured man,

save my life, lovely moon the colour of summer.

Some people’s interests lie in material things,

but on the purity of a fair moon

I gave my whole intentions, one and all.

If I could only have you, I would confidently proclaim

that I had more than enough wealth, pure girl.

Gentle moon the colour of day,

I see your light, you with a pleasing face.

From life to the grave, you are my queen,

fair warm farced one.

You are my fire, the inspiration to my song,

the heavens never did behold

through the light of the sun’s cycle,

such a wonderful sight.

I raise up my head, and look to the skies,

shine upon me, white moon the colour of snow.

Some hold the moon responsible

for pulling the threads and strings of the seas,

the ebb and flow of the tides in and out.

But you, my love, are responsible

for pulling the strings of my heart,

gentle moon the colour of day.

Naomi Pilgrim – “House Of Dreams”.

And here is the second song from Naomi Pilgrim that I want to show you. I LOVE the lyrics, that’s the main reason I like this song so much. I’ve heard it for the first time only yesterday yet it’s still in my mind and I feel like listening to it over, and over, and over again. If I’m honest with you, at the beginning, when I listened to it for the very first time, it didn’t sit right with me really. I’ve said that I appreciate Naomi’s way with harmonies, the way she creates her music, the way it is produced. And I could see that the harmonies in this song were also really interesting to hear, very captivating, but I have that sensory thing with some sounds, not only with sounds, with harmonies too. Sometimes I just hear a song and it may be even beautiful, interesting, cool, but… ick, at some point there is something in the harmonies, that I guess other people don’t perceive the same, I’ve asked dozens of people believe me, that gives me a quick adrenalin shot, the dose depends on how bothering it is, and it just makes me feel kind of anxious… uncomfortable… I don’t know how to explain it… I guess as if it was incompatible with my brain. πŸ˜€ It’s not about disharmony, just certain types of sounds and harmonies, or maybe sequences of sounds I should say, I don’t know if there is any objective rule or a specific kind of things that can make me feel this way. It’s a weird feeling. But that’s just one of my sensory quirks. Usually, if I get that, it’s not passable, and I know I should avoid the thing that triggered this feeling in me, especially if it’s strong because it can get worse and make me feel just more generally anxious and unsettled. But I kept on listening to this song, because I was curious, and it felt like with time it actually stopped bothering me so much. Maybe because I focused on these great lyrics. And at this point, I can ignore the stuff that doesn’t agree with my brain, and now as it doesn’t bother me so much, it feels like it makes the song more intriguing. I wish I could do that with everything and with much more intense stuff. πŸ˜€ Weirdly, soul seems to be the kind of music that very often contains such harmonies and sequences that make me feel unsettled more or less. I do love this songΒ  overall, and I do love the dream-like feel of it and Naomi’s vocals and, as I said, the lyrics above all. Dreamers unite. πŸ˜€

Song of the day (24th May) -Naomi Pilgrim – “No Gun”.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

Haven’t posted any music in a little while, so here is another Swedish stuff for you. Well, actually, Naomi Pilgrim is Swedish-Barbadian, if we want to be exact, and sings in English. She’s my brand new discovery, and, oddly enough, I’ve just found out that she used to do backing vocals on concerts for Kent, the popular Swedish band I showed you recently. Her own style is quite different from Kent’s though. She has a very skillful singing voice and I’d say her music is something in between pop, soul and R&B. Like her vocals are very soul-like, but her music is very R&B-like, to me. I’d like to show you two songs from her that have caught my attention, the first one is pretty interesting musically, and the lyrics are very intriguing and ironical. I also have an impression that Naomi Pilgrim has a way with harmonies, she knows how to make them feel unique and interesting. A bit like one of my Norwegian favourites – Fay Wildhagen – but in a completely different way, their styles are as different as they can be, which only shows how eclectic my style is, I guess, because I feel a conection with harmonies of both of them. πŸ˜€

Question of the day.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

Today, my question for you is:

What is a genre you’re surprised that you like?

My answer:

As for music genre, I have to say folk. It might sound strange to those of you who know that I love folklore, and minority languages, and everything Celtic and Nordic, and music in languages that aren’t frequently heard, and just love folk, but I used to dislike folk some years ago, when I was a kid, maybe a preteen or something. I remember that I thought that it is granny music, or something like that, I called it this way, thought it was cringey, I had to do mostly with Polish folk back then. There was a radiostation I loved, well still love it even though it doesn’t exist, and I can’t get over it after all the years since it has transformed into another radiostation, it was called Polish Radio BIS (BIS stands for Very DIfferent Station – Bardzo Inna Stacja –
). They had all sorts of alternative/weird music, almost everything you could think of that wasn’t your average pop or that just wasn’t known, and a lot of good programmes from which you could learn lots of interesting things, they even had language learning programmes. So one of their music programmes was wholely dedicated to folk, and I never liked it, it sounded just boring and as I said felt kind of granny-like or cringey to me. It was folk from all cultures, but especially Polish/Slavic. Now I regret that I hadn’t paid much attention to those programmes, I was more into reggae and alternative rock music back then. Also, there is another radiostation, that my Mum likes, and that I now like to listen to as well sometimes, Polish Radio Programme 2, it is very similar to the British BBC Radio 3, with a lot of classical music, but also lots of good literature, stuff about art, kinda very sophisticated and calm station with high aspirations, and they also have some time for folk in their schedule. So back then when I was a kid, my Mum would listen to those classical music programmes, just because you know it makes a nice atmosphere sometimes, not because she’s such a fan, but both of us disliked the folk stuff there. Especially that it was even more “granny-like”, with very traditional Polish music, often literally sang by elderly ladies and having just a very specific climate that not everyone has to like definitely. It was only when I discovered Enya, thanks to my friend, and when Enya has become my first music crush, that I started to take a gradually deeper interest in first just Celtic music, and then folk and folklore in general. I still can’t say that I like all kinds of folk, and folk from all cultures or all subtypes of folk, I still think that some folk can be a bit cringey, but my love for folklore, especially Celtic and Nordic as I said has grown so much that now folk is one of my most favourite, if not my very favourite music genre in general. Also I’ve opened myself for some Polish folk, and so has my Mum, although my Mum likes different things in Polish folk than I do, in Polish folk I definitely prefer when it’s a combination of old and new, or neofolk, folktronica or such things. But it really depends.. So yeah, given my history with folk, I think it is quite surprising that now I like it.

And then there is jazz, which I generally don’t like, but my previous music crush – Cornelis Vreeswijk – used to incorporate some jazz into his songs, and somehow through him jazz became a bit more tolerable for me and I realised that sometimes it can be quite good. But it’s not like me that I would just consciously and purposefully choose that I want to listen to jazz, I don’t like it that much.

I think my music crushes do a great job of convincing me to new aspects of music, introducing new genres to me and making me see them from different sides. But then I also think that I am myself quite an eclectic person musically, but at the same time I am quite picky and won’t listen just to anything, just because. Not normally anyway.

So, what’s that genre for you? Music, literature, film or whatever? πŸ™‚