Plu – “Ben I Waered” (Upside Down).

   Hey dear people! 🙂 

   Yesterday I happened to have a migraine, and spent a lot of time in bed listening to Plu, whose music I always find very soothing, in a way that is also extremely soul-enriching, even though I’ve listened to them a lot before, because every time I listen to them I either explore something new in their music, or it makes me think of something different, or makes a different imagery pop into my brain. So it’s kind of like re-reading the same book. And their music is also great to fall asleep to. So I thought that today I’d share another song, the third one on here, from Plu’s most recent album called Tri, which came out last April and about which I’ve already raved before in this post where I also wrote in more detail about this album. Most of the songs on it are Plu’s original, and so is the case with this beautiful, dreamy and soaring piece. Despite my recent mini- yet very encouraging nonetheless successes with Welsh translations, I wasn’t able to translate this one for you unfortunately, because its lyrics don’t seem to be available anywhere online, and when I attempted doing it by ear, obviously I encountered a lot of words that I didn’t know and couldn’t quite figure out how they should be spelt to look them up in a dictionary or something. But very generally and shortly, from what I gather, the lyrical subject is in love with someone and talks about her feelings and sensations relating to this person, their presence etc. in a way that feels very subtle, I believe this person has actually left her or something and she longs for him, and she says something along the lines of that looking in the eyes and into the soul of this person makes her heart turn upside down. 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Taith y Cardi” (The Cardi’s Journey).

   Hi people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you something else by one of my faza peeps Gwilym Bowen Rhys. A  hilarious song from the first instalment in his Detholiad o Hen Faledi (A Selection of Welsh Ballads) series of albums. As someone who’s into weird linguistic stuff, I think it’s just as funny because of the Wenglish and the very peculiar grammar (often calqued on Welsh), as the actual story line. I know that Wenglish is still thriving at least in some parts of Wales, which is obviously quite natural for a strongly bilingual area I guess, but I’m curious if some people in Ceredigion actually still speak like this, or perhaps they never have because it was exaggerated for satirical or perhaps mocking purposes? 

   Cardi is the colloquial term for a person from Ceredigion, or Cardiganshire historically. Gwilym says that this was originally an American song, so Cardis got their own version based on that later on. It is set to the Irish traditional tune called Cill Liadain. The only tune of that name I’ve ever heard is one  by Bill Whelan and it does not have the same tune, but it has a very similar rhythmic pattern so probably there must be a few different tunes to which Cill Liadain is sung, or perhaps we’re talking about two totally different things that just happen to have the same title. I’m not sure what’s the situation regarding the author of these lyrics, because on his home page Gwilym writes that this song was written by Rhys Davies, also known as Llew Llywel, whereas on his Bandcamp he writes that it is most likely an anonymous song but possibly written by John David Lewis, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and about whom I’ve also read that he was also a book collector and founder of a Welsh printing press called Gwasg Gomer. 

   I decided that, to make things clear for people who are not familiar with Welsh and Wenglish at all, I’ll just include the whole lyrics in this post with all the Welsh/Wenglish words translated into regular English. 

   

I live in Llandysul in Cardiganshire,
A letter inform me my uncle was dead,
To ask me in a minute to go up to London
As hundreds of pounds was left me ‘twas said.
So I was determined to go on my journey
And book my ticket, first class I was fine.
But if I was go third class I was never encounter
The little pure widow I was see in the train.

The widow and me side by side sit together
In the carriage was no one but us and no more.
Silence was broken by my purty companion
Who ask me the time by the watch I was wore
‘Of course’ I was tell her and then conversation
Was speaking between us, indeed ‘till my brain
Was go on the head-spin, I almost went crazy
With the little pure widow I was see in the train.

She was so polite I venture to ask her
How old was the child she was have on her breast.
‘Ah sir’ she did say, and she did cry shockin
And the child she carry to her bosom she prest. ‘When you speak of my child I am quite broken hearted,
His father, my husband, oh my heart breaks in pain’
And what she then do, she lean her head on my waistcoat
Did the little pure widow I was see in the train.

By this time the train it was come in the station
A couple of miles from big big one in town
When the widow was say as she look through the window
‘Good gracious alive, why, there goes Mr Brown,
He’s my late husband’s brother, dear sir would you kindly
Take hold of my baby, I’ll be back again.’
‘Of course’ I was say, and out to the platform
Went the pure little widow I was see in the train.

Three minutes was go by, the guard whistle blowin’,
The train was a’ movin’ but no widow appear!
With a puff and a puff it was off! I was fear!
My watch…where was it? And where was my chain?,
My purse and my ticket, loose tickets was all gone!
Well damn that old widow I was see in the train. 

When I found out my loss indeed I was cryin’
The train did then stop and ‘tickets please!’ I heard.
So I tell the collector whilst shaking the baby
The loss I was lost, but he doubted my word
So he call a policeman and a lot come about me,
They take from me the baby…how shall I explain?
For indeed ‘twas no baby! ‘twas a wooden doll! A dummy!
That devil of a widow I was see in the train!

They let me go when they see I had no money
And I was walk home for many a day,
When I come in to Merthyr I saw Dai Llanybydder
And in his old cart I come home all the way.
Now boys of Llandysul now mind you, take warnin’!
Mind you those fair widows who do cry like rain,
For they sure to rob you of your purse and your pocket
Like the little pure widow I was see in the train.

Y Bandana – “Cyn i’r Ale ‘ma Gau” (Before This Place Closes).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

  For today, I thought I’d share with y’all a song by Y Bandana – the very popular but no longer existing Welsh-language pop rock group consisting of Gwilym Bowen Rhys (one of my faza peeps), his cousins Siôn and Tomos Owens and his friend Robin Llwyd Jones – from their last album called Fel Tôn Gron (which I believe would translate into English as something like Like a Complete Tune? Not perfectly sure). I suppose this song could be considered a sort of mild and heartening drinking/pub song. I like the very distinctly Welsh/Celtic vibe of it despite it isn’t folk. 

   Encouraged by my recent personal mini yet noticeable successes with Welsh learning and the recent, fairly successful I guess (though they were just nursery rhymes so you can’t really fail spectacularly there when you know a bit of the language and it’s nothing outstanding obviously to translate a nursery rhyme 😀 ), translation of Tŷ Bach Twt and Milgi Milgi by Mari Mathias, I decided to take the plunge and try to translate this song, despite I’d never translated Welsh-language songs on here before as this is the language in which I still feel most insecure out of all my languages. It was definitely more difficult and time-consuming than the nursery rhymes and I had to look up some words, but generally I also already understood a fair bit of it before attempting to do this, so in the end I managed. Though I’m sure there are some mistakes in it or bits that could have been translated better. Perhaps now that I’ve done it I’ll be able to translate Welsh songs that I share on here more regularly myself, just like it’s been the case with Swedish – at first I thought I could never be able to properly translate something between two languages of which none is my native tongue, but now I find doing most Swedish song translations to English pretty easy even if some little bits are confusing and even if I don’t do it fully well. 

   Come inside the house, sit down, come in from the wind and rain
This is a haven, to the word, to the song and the full cup
There is music [or poetry] in the ir and melody in the walls
And fire in our blood like our forefathers’
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
Come into the house, where the truth flows like the wine
A feeling that is so old, and the smile, and the rare stones and the soil
It flows with ease through your veins
Let’s all come to the crossroad of souls
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
If you are lost in the world, without a friend or faith
Peace of mind and all its magic is available at the top of the street
It flows with ease through your veins
Let’s all come to the crossroad of souls
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
Come inside the house to us, come closer to the warmth of the bar
And we’ll raise our glasses up, to the sky. And say cheers together
There’s music in the air and melody in the walls
And fire in our blood like our forefathers’
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes
We’ll sing a song, before this place closes

Y Bandana – “Cyn i’r Lle ‘ma Gau” 

Plu – “Hiraeth” (Longing).

   Hi all you lovely people! 🙂 

   Today I’d really like to share with you all this incredibly beautiful song by Plu. It is a traditional one, and it’s very beautiful as such in itself and very much resonates with my brain, but it’s even more so and feels even deeper in Plu’s arrangement. I translated the title of this song as longing because that’s what the word hiraeth is usually translated as, but really as I’ve written several times before, this word doesn’t have a proper equivalent in English. I find hiraeth very interesting and I’ve tried explaining and defining what it means, for example in this post with another song about hiraeth. You can also find more about it in this post by Ceri Davies   from which also comes the English translation below. 

   Gold fades and silver fades


Velvet fades silk fades


Every sort of clothing fades


And yet hiraeth doesn’t fade


Great Hiraeth cruel hiraeth


Hiraeth tears at my heart


When I’m sleeping deeply at night


Hiraeth comes and wakes me


Hiraeth hiraeth away away


Don’t weigh so heavily on me


Go a little nearer to the edge


Let me have a little bit of sleep

Gwen Màiri – “Y Dydd Drwy’r Ffenest” (The Day Through the Window”.

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a beautiful piece from Gwen Màiri’s album Mentro (Venture), an amazing album from which I’ve already shared several tracks in the past. In case you don’t know, Gwen Màiri Yorke is a harpist and folk singer of both Scottish and Welsh heritage, who is both a Scottish Gaelic as well as Welsh native speaker. On this album, she is accompanied by Jordan Price Williams on cello, as well as Gwilym Bowen Rhys on several instruments, but in this particular piece we can hear him playing the mandolin. As far as I’m aware, this tune is Gwen’s original composition. 

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Y Ddeilen Dobaco” (The Tobacco Leaf).

   Hey people! 🙂 

    I thought I’d really like to share with you something from Gwilym’s latest  album, the second one in the Detholiad o Hen Faledi (Selection of Old Ballads) series, because so far I guess I’ve only shared one song from it on here, and it’s a really good album as I’ve already said so deserves some more attention on here. So I chose for today an interesting song from 19th century, in which the lyrical subject ponders on the transience and fragility of our earthly lives while smoking a pipe. It was written by poet Ebenezer Thomas, known under his bardic name of Eben Fardd (Bard Eben), and set to a traditional tune. The translation below comes from Gwilym’s website

  The tobacco leaf comes from afar,
be it good or ill to those who take it,
in the morning it is full of colour,
but in the afternoon it withers
and this shows us all
that we are not going to last here very long,
that we’re only people in clay pipes,
that’s what I think whilst smoking it

The white clay pipe, the colour of pure fine snow
that shines so bright as I see it.
when this falls, it quickly breaks,
and is cast away without a second thought,
and that’s how we are, though so bright at our dawn,
and all the good intentions we might have -
only a small strike will leave us broken on the floor,
I think all the while whilst smoking it.

The pipe, when used, obtains a bad colour,
the ash and the smoke blackens it.
to get it clean again,
one must put it in the fire to re-purify it.
and so are we with our black, cruel sins,
full of uncleanliness, inside and out,
until we are re-purified through spirit and grace,
I rightly think as I smoke it.

The sparks ascend to the heavens
to seek the element that’s there
and likewise the smoke rises,
we can clearly see it climbing.
and this clearly shows us all the while
that were are all but travellers, the wisest in the world -
let’s not place our desires in material things,
I always think whilst smoking it.

The ash and dottle stay on behind,
in a way that is to be remembered -
from the soil we came, loud is our noise,
to the soil we shall return again.
the earth to the earth, we’ll return on our way,
the ash to the ash, and the body like it was before.
our life disappears like smoke in the wind
I carry on thinking whilst smoking it.


Y Bandana – “Cân y Tân” (The Fire’s Song).

   And for today I have for you quite a cheerful tune from Y Bandana, a rock group from North Wales of which one of the members was one of my faza peeps – Gwilym Bowen Rhys. – The group no longer exists, but it was really popular on the Welsh-language scene, and this song was one of their most popular, if not the most recognisable one. The video below contains both the Welsh lyrics as well as the translation so you can have a look. 

Plu – “Porth Samddai”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Well, time to share some more music from that new album by Plu – Tri – that I gushed about when it came out. You can read more extensively about it in the post above. It’s been over three months since I first heard it and I’m still listening to it as a whole. I normally don’t do that a lot with albums that I would listen to them as a whole lots of times, usually it’s just once, or 2-3 times if I think it’s really good and then I just listen to individual songs whenever I feel like it, but it’s different with my faza people’s music as well as anything that is just insanely good in my opinion or has a lasting impression on my brain for some reason. 

   This song, unlike the one I shared in the post above, is Plu’s original to my knowledge. Generally though, i haven’t been able to find out much about it, which is quite a pity. There seems to be some sort of a location called Porth Samddai somewhere near/within Caernarfon in Wales but that’s about everything I know. I find the little bits of lyrics that I’ve been able to understand over time very interesting and am looking forward to when I’ll be able to understand more of it, but so far I am definitely not able to translate it or anything. I said in my previous post about this album that it feels closer to the alt- side of the alt-folk spectrum, unlike the previous ones which drew closer to the -folk side, and this is one of these pieces that I think show this gentle shift very well. 

Plu – “Sgwennaf Lythyr” (I Will Write a Letter).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today let’s listen to a song by Plu, the alt-folk trio from North Wales consisting of siblings Elan, Marged and Gwilym Rhys. This song comes from their self-titled album and here’s a live version of it. 

Plu – “Nos Da Nawr” (Goodnight Now).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   For today, I have a lovely little children’s lullaby for you, from Plu’s album called Holl Anifeiliaid y Goedwig (All Animals of the Forest). As far as I can tell, this lullaby is about what various animals do before bedtime and how they prepare for sleep. 

Y Bandana – “Cyffur” (Drug).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   For today I want to share with you a song from Y Bandana’s album Bywyd Gwyn. For any newbies out there, Y Bandana is, or rather was, a rock band from north Wales who wrote their songs  in Welsh, and the band consists of brothers Siôn (bass) and Tomos (keyboard) Owens, their cousin Gwilym Bowen Rhys (vocals and guitar) and his friend Robin Llwyd Jones (drums) and Gwilym, who is a solo artist now as well as member of an alt-folk group called Plu has been one of my faza peeps. While I don’t understand the entire lyrics of this song, I do understand enough to be able to figure out that it’s about being in love with someone so much that it has turned into an addiction, and the person who is the cause of this is fully aware of it. 

Plu – “Llwynog Coch Sy’n Cysgu” (Red Fox is Sleeping).

   And for today I also chose a song that Gwilym Bowen Rhys has contributed to, ‘cause why not? It’s a song by the band Plu who surely are well-known to the more regular readers of my blog – the alt-folk sibling trio of Elan, Marged and Gwilym Rhys. – It is a nice little Welsh nursery rhyme or a lullaby, from their album Holl Anifeiliaid y Goedwig (All Animals of the Forest) with a very self-explanatory title as to what it is about. I really like their arrangement of it. I rarely translate Welsh songs for you myself as I still don’t feel as confident in this as I do with Swedish or even Norwegian, but (even though as you’ll find out this song has such extremely sophisticated and difficult lyrics) I was able to translate it for you, and, miraculously, my brain hasn’t even exploded as a result of such ultra-strenuous activity, yay! 

  Red Fox is sleeping
Red Fox is sleeping
Red Fox is sleeping
On the meadow.
Red Fox is dreaming
Red Fox is dreaming
Red fox is dreaming
On the meadow
Who is going to see
Who is going to see
Who is going to see
On the meadow?
A red eye is opening
A red eye is opening
A red eye is opening
On the meadow
Red fox is waking
Red fox is waking
Red fox is waking
On the meadow
Red fox is wandering
Red fox is wandering
Red fox is wandering
On the meadow
Red fox is tired
Red fox is tired
Red fox is tired
On the meadow
Red fox is sleeping
Red fox is sleeping
Red fox is sleeping
On the meadow

Song of the day (3rd June) – Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Hogyn Gyrru’r Wedd” (The Ploughboy).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I’d like to share with you all one more song from Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ album Detholiad o hen Faledi I (Selection of Old Ballads I). This song is actually a translation from English, the original traditional English song is called The Farmer’s Boy. It is said to have been written by Charles Whitehead, the brother-in-law of the Reverend Thomas Fownes Smith who was a Baptist minister in Little Leigh in England and the song is allegedly based on Reverend Smith’s life, though it was popular all around England. It’s sung to the tune of the Napoleonic Wars song called Ye Sons of ALbion. The Welsh version was written by the poet Richard Davies Mynyddog. I like this version a lot more than the English one, both in terms of the lyrics, which feel a bit more evocative, and Gwilym’s interpretation. The translation below comes, as is usually the case with Gwilym’s songs on my blog, from Gwilym’s website.  Please keep in mind that, like I said, it’s Gwilym’s English translation of the Welsh translation, rather than the English original. I emphasise that because I’ve had quite a few confused non-Welsh speakers coming here and wondering about Welsh versions of English songs that I’ve shared on here and why the lyrics on my blog aren’t the same that they are familiar with. 🙂 

The sun it sinks over the hill
into the depths like some giant
When a frightful pale boy knocks
on the door of a big farmhouse.
He asks from ‘neath his sack
With his cheeks all grey;
“where can I earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy?
As a ploughboy?”

“There’s seven of us with my mother
And my father’s in a damp grave
And worse than this, me myself
Is the eldest of all seven,
I’ll do my part, despite my small size
And despite how grey my cheeks are,
If I can only earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy,
As a ploughboy.”

“If my help is not needed
May I have from you
Some shelter through the wet night
From the cold of the black winter.
After a long night I’ll look for work
So that my cheeks can be restored,
If I can only earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy
As a ploughboy”

Well the wife of the house lovingly said;
“Take him for goodness sake!”
“ Yes father!” says the daughter
With her tears flowing down.
“It’s a pity that there’s anyone now
Still wandering with grey cheeks”
If he could only earn a little poor wage
As a ploughboy,
As a ploughboy.

The father and mother went before long
To Tan-y-Graig cemetery,
And the house became property of the lad
And the daughter became his wife.
In a pure home he sings a song
With gentle and healthy cheeks,
Remembering the day he came to the house
As a ploughboy
As a Ploughboy.


Gwilymm Bowen Rhys – “Er Fy Ngwaethaf” (Despite Myself).

   Hiya people! 🙂 

   Even though I’ve shared a song by Gwilym just a couple days ago, today I feel like sharing yet another one with you, this time round one with a  more contemporary feel to it lyrically. THis song comes from his album called Arenig, and while I absolutely love this album as a whole, this has to be one of my favourite songs on it, just after “Lloer Dirion Lliw’r Dydd” (Gentle Moon, Colour of the Day) and “Clychau’r Gog” (Bluebells). It was written by young Welsh poet ELis Dafydd, who I’m pretty sure is also from somewhere in the Caernarfon area, and the fact that the village of Brynrefail is mentioned here could indicate that too. The music to this poem was composed by Gwilym. Below is Gwilym’s translation of it. 

   A few names, a few songs,
a few fags that are looking for a flame,
a few shadows in the eyes of an old friend,
a few that I haven’t loved until they have gone.
 
A few sunrays that are hot on the back of my neck,
a few of the old faces in the mirror above the bar.
A few afternoons in empty carparks
with a girl from Brynrefail that’s escaping to Prague
 
A few old lads in the corner by themselves
who drink to health every Monday morning.
Whilst these things are there, I will be a slave
to every swallow between now and Summer

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Cerdd Braich y Saint” (Song of Braich Y Saint).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today, let’s listen to a song from Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ first album in his Detholiad o hen Faledi (Selection of Old Ballads) series. This song was written by Robert Williams, also known as Robin Fawr o Fynytho around 1870. It’s written from the perspective of a farm-hand, who has been hired by a farmer from a place called Braich y Saint in Criciedd who initially makes a very good impression on his new employee, but eventually, as he starts working there, he turns out to be a very nasty and difficult boss. The translation below comes from Gwilym’s website. 

 

Old Cadwaladr came on his grey mare
From Cricieth to Pwllheli to hire four farm-hands
He came to me quite pleasantly, on his face, a big smile
And I signed up, thinking I’d get the kindest master in the world.

Early on Friday I started on my way
To serve in Eifionydd, leaving Llŷn behind
To a lovely little place called Braich-Y-Saint,
I was there a few days, It won’t pay to say how long.

The slopes where steep an the scythe was blunt
And old Cadwaladr was a very difficult man indeed,
He’d rise in the morning with his cheeks full of wind
Shouting ‘wake up boys! It’s a quarter past five!’

After the boys had risen and taken the horses to water
And had returned, they’d eat flour and water pottage,
He’d order all to work, running around like a mad man
But that’s how Caswaladr was, a hard man t’wards his servants

I was raised at home, I never proved any suffering
But this year at Braich-Y-Saint I’m living on dry bread,
a herring on the forge, with a very bad taste
But you know what Cadwaladr was like, a hard man t’wards his servants

In dismal Braich-y-Saint there’s a bed like a carriage
Where I tried to sleep with my belly half empty
And the old Sow’s meat was hard and tasteless
But you know what Cadwaladr was like, a hard man t’wadrs his servants

Farewell to pulling swedes, farewell to the pick’n’shovel,
Farewell to the thin mare lying in the dirt,
Farewell to the white headed bull and the grey mare,
Farewell to old Cadwaladr, a hard man t’wards his servants.

Gwilym Bowen Rhys – “Ben Rhys”.

   Hey people! 🙂 

   I was listening to this song this morning and was wondering how come I don’t remember ever posting it on here in the song of the day series. But I checked and I indeed have not shared it before, as weird as it is. I say it’s weird because, well, I have obviously posted a lot of Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ music, both solo and with the bands he’s played and sung with, and this song seems to be one of his more popular/successful ones, also it was the first song from his solo album that I happened to come across when my faza on him was starting out, when I was already familiar with Plu and Y Bandana. It’s also a really good song and a very interesting one because it’s just about as folky as it gets while at the same time having this sort of bluesy and indie feel to it that I think can make it very accessible for those who perhaps aren’t necessarily as muchh into folk as Bibiels are. So this finally had to happen at some point. 

   This song was written by Gwilym together with his mum – Siân Harris – and it tells the story of his great-great-great-grandfather, Ben Rhys, who was a coal miner and died tragically in the Cymmer Colliery explosion in South Wales in 1856, from his point of view. While it was included on Gwilym’s 2016 debut album O Groth y Ddaear (From the Womb of the Earth), enthusiasts of Welsh-language music could have heard it two years earlier already, because he also sang it at the Cân i Gymru (Song for Wales) competition in 2014. It was his second time taking part in it, he also competed with the song Garth Celyn in 2012, which he co-wrote with his mum as well and which is also written from the perspective of a historical figure. The translation comes from Gwilym’s website. 

    My name is Ben Rhys, a man and a collier
And a pure Welshman under my dirty shell,
One of the ants of the pit in the centre of my valley
And I mine in the darkness day in day out
Yes I mine all my days to put bread on the table,
Labouring for hours in this underground furnace
Yes, I work under hardship
And sweat in the darkness
Just to earn mere pennies
Doing my duty as a father and husband

One mid-summer’s dawn I descend into the pit
And the humid walls close in about me
Under weak and fragile beams and my candle’s naked flame
I leave the light of day for the last time
Yes I leave the light of day unconscious of my fate,
The lack of air overwhelming and pressing on my flesh,
Yes, I’m choking from the gasses
Amongst the deafening beating of hammers,
The beating of picks, and my heartbeat quickening in my breast.

My name is Ben Rhys, I was a man and a collier
And a pure Welshman under my dirty shell,
A man, father and brother, one of four in a grave,
And the grave is one of twenty that are open,
Yes the grave is one of twenty that are open in my valley
And the widows are lamenting and the children are weeping, Repressed under the master’s feet ,
Masters who only want to fill their pockets,
And that flee from justice, an injustice to this day.

Plu – “Dod Dy Law” (Place Your Hand).

   Hiya all you lovely people! 😁 

   After less than two months since the second installment of Gwilym Bowen Rhys’ record series Detholiad o Hen Faledi (A Selection of Old Ballads ) has been out, we can now celebrate the release of yet another beautiful album of delicious Welsh-language music, which is a creation of the alt-folk trio Plu, which consists of siblings Elan Mererid Owain, Marged Eiry Rhys and the aforementioned Gwilym Bowen Rhys from the Caernarfon area in North Wales. For any newbies out there, Gwilym  is one of my faza people, which means events like this are a really huge thing over here in Bibielland. Like I mentioned in the post linked above where I shared one of Gwilym’s songs from his latest solo album, so far he happens to be the most actively prolific of my faza peeps when it comes to releasing new music currently, so I always make a lot of fuss when he does release something because my other faza peeps currently don’t really do it either regularly or at all. ANd so this year, being able to enjoy not only Gwilym’s new album solo but also a new release from Plu, I feel like I’m being spoilt absolutely rotten! 

   This new album is simply called Tri (Three) and was released by Sbrigyn Ymborth – a branch of the label Sain. Like their previous albums it was recorded at Studio Sain and produced by Plu with Aled Wyn Hughes, known for example from Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog. Most of the songs are Plu’s own material. As far as I know, it came out on April 29, however, on that day Bibielz were completely out of touch with the  world thanks to a migraine, so  only got it yesterday. I’ve already mentioned a lot on here that when it comes to my faza peeps’ music that I hear for the first time – be it objectively new or just new to me – i like to listen to it  in specific conditions, and that, among other things, means it has to be when most  people in my timezone are likely to be asleep, and it’s crucial  that all the people in my household are asleep, so I can have complete peace and as few external distractions as possible. And I had to wait a long time to have this particular condition fulfilled, because the first days of May are always grilling (or, as Sofi used to say to annoy me when she was younger, gwilling ) 😒 ) time here in Poland because we have national holidays and the weather usually starts feeling warmer and stuff, and so my family was grilling as well and it was practically only today – a couple hours after midnight – that I was able to focus my  attention solely on Plu. So more thorough listens are definitely due, but I was feeling too giddy about it to wait longer with sharing the news with y’all. 😀 

    This was a very interesting experience, and a little surprising. I’ve always thought that Plu were not only a well-developed and already fully-shaped but also a really very mature band musically, but I think since their last album called Tir a Golau (Land and Lights) in 2015 (not counting their more recent Bendith collaboration that they did together with Carwyn Ellis from Colorama) a lot must have been going on for all of them, because they have grown even more, as mind-blowing as it is. I’d say that, as a whole, pretty much from start to finish, this album has a bit more of a substantial vibe to it. What I mean is, Plu’s earlier albums feel very ethereal and otherworldly, airy kind of, giving you a feeling as if you have suddenly found yourself in some beautiful, alternate realm woven from clouds,  mist and moonlight (not that I’ve ever seen any of those visual phenomena but these are the sort of things that Plu’s sound makes me think of nonetheless), or something akin to Avalon, which is one of the reasons why I originally fell in love with their music and I’m sure they’re called Plu (feathers) for a reason. This album definitely doesn’t lack that soft lightness, but at the same time it feels more earthly as a whole than their previous releases. Perhaps some part of why I get this impression is that we have a bit different instrumentation here, featuring more electric guitars than in the past (courtesy of Dafydd Owain and Aled Hughes) as well as drums (Carwyn Williams) which were never part of Plu’s instrumentation before, well at least not on any of their studio recordings. Something about their amazing three-part harmonies feels different too, and makes this album sound slightly closer towards the alt- end of the alt-folk spectrum than its predecessors. Throughout the album, I literally couldn’t stop marvelling at how rich, expressive and extremely flexible ELan’s voice is! And Gwilym’s exquisite guitar play… I’ve always been in awe of his skills with all them beautiful stringed instruments and raved over them on here a lot, but I have a particular liking for how he plays the guitar in Plu, it makes all my brain cells shiver with happiness. 

   The album is not available in places like YouTube or Spotify or Apple Music or wherever else people typically listen to music these days, and given that Gwilym’s last album hasn’t made his way there to Spotify which is what I use, I believe it’s possible they don’t feel like having it on there.  I have finally figured out though that (surprise, surprise! 🙃 ) you can also embed songs from Bandcamp on other websites, so that’s how I’ll share my joy with you. 

   Honestly though I had a real trouble picking out that ONE song that is the clear winner of this album for me, because I have several strong favourites. I eventually decided on Dod Dy Law mostly because I also really like this tune in general, and I’ve shared several different versions of it on my blog already so I thought it could be interesting for people to hear this one for comparison. 

   I’ve shared it sung by Gwilym, Siân James, and Gwenan Gibbard, and in the post with Gwenan Gibbard’s version you can also find its translation and a link to a lot more comprehensive post that Ffion from The Foxglove Trio wrote about this song on her blog. It’s a very sad, traditional tune written from the perspective of someone who addresses their lover, by whom their heart has been broken. 

   I like that Elan sings this song so low, with only a gentle guitar accompaniment from Gwilym, which makes the whole sound a bit dark and deep and so incredibly beautiful. 

Plu – “Mam Wnaeth Gôt i Mi” (Mum Made the Coat for Me).

   Hey people! 🙂 

   Today I want to share with you a happy little tune from Plu’s album Holl Anifeiliaid y Goedwig (All Animals of the Forest). All the songs on this album feature some animal(s) and I believe most of them are traditional. So seems to be the case with this one as well. From what I can gather from the lyrics, here we have birds, and the lyrical subject of the song goes around and asks different birds where they’ve got their coats. To which they all respond that it was their mum, and I believe they all say that their mums have made it “from a piece of air” or something like that, and each of them adds when their mum made it, for example “when it was the middle of summer” or “when it was raining” etc.