Serol Serol (which translates as “Stellar Stellar” in English) craft sumptuous cosmic Cymru pop which will be illuminating the airwaves this March, as their sublime self-titled debut album crashlands today (Friday 23rd March 2018) through I KA-CHING Records. Serol Serol started life as a pop project for producers Llŷr Pari (Palenco, Omaloma) and George Amor (Omaloma, Sen Segur). “We are really good friends so we just hang around together, and listened to the same sort of music and talked about music. We were taking Omaloma into a certain direction, it was going towards this pop music direction we got this idea. With me running a studio myself, we had all these ideas So we thought maybe we could do something new that would stretch ourselves and see what we could do with pop music, as a genre there’s pop music in the Welsh language scene but it’s not all that interesting” explains Llŷr Pari. “I remember specifically being constantly on the verge of being cheesy, I wanted the whole album to be on this tightrope between being cheesy and cool, and experimental. We messed around with a lot of delays and rhythmic delays, all the keyboard parts are quite percussive. George and I weren’t experienced with using synthesizers, so we were kind of exploring because in Omaloma we use electric guitar and drums.”
Typified by their previous single ‘K’Ta’ that was like celestial pop delight tantalisingly spiralling across the sky like a comet and new single the groove-laden gloss and hooky vocal refrains of ‘Arwen’, according to Pari their sound is inspired by the charming sounds of ‘early 90s RnB Janet Jackson and Kelis and Sci-fi films’, their intricate, tapestry of warm synth sounds are anchored by playful, undulating rhythms lines that are stretched and released garnished by evocative entwined vocals supplied by two cousins, Mali Siôn and Leusa Rhys. Sion is Pari’s cousin and Rhys is Sion’s cousin so the link was through family, but their singing talent was spotted when they working as backing singers in Pari’s Melin Y Coed studio in Conwy. “We wanted someone to do that pop vocal thing and George and I can hold a tune, but we can’t sing the way that they can,” points out Pari, there’s an echo of how the second line up of THe Human League formed when singers Joanne Catherall and Susan Sulley were famously spotted dancing in a club by Phil Oakey and joined the group becoming integral members to this day.
The cousins were enlisted to add a sparkle and attitude to these sci-fi pop diamonds in the rough, they now front the project: “Both of us are quite new to the music scene in Wales, and we’ve only played a handful of gigs, but the singles have gone down a storm! And they give everyone a taste of what’s to come on the album.” Point out Sion and Rhys “We recorded the album at Stiwdio Glan Llyn, with the four of us recording our tracks separately. It’s been quite a weird process, but everything’s come together.” With its interstellar sound and in the moment yet sci-fi referencing lyrics its an ambitious palette that stands apart from most Welsh pop, Sion and Rhys call it “spacey or groovy; quite different to what’s available in the Welsh music scene at the moment. I think we’ve chosen quite a specific genre, but Huw Stephens has called us the Welsh Beyonce, so who cares!”
“We recorded the whole album in a week just the instrumentation we did it all, recorded it without any singing. We had the vocal melodies but no lyrics or vocals, pretty much every song we just came up with one line of a lyric that suited the vibe, George and I shared the lyric writing between us and when we were putting vocals down Mali and Leusa got involved too.” remembers Pari “As with the music you can almost get away with the words being a bit cheesy, some of them are cheesy. We usually write the music first and the lyrics second, the lyrics are based on what you hear in the music, sometimes you hear English words and sometimes you hear Welsh words.” Setting themselves only one rule “every song had to have some reference to space, we made our own genre called ‘space pop,’ so we wanted every song to be not about space but in the context of sci-fi and space. It could be the soundtrack to a sci-fi movie, when I was mixing the album, I usually try and get my mind out of the process so I try and listen to the music whilst watching a video, so I am listening to the music in a different way with this album I watched a lot of scenes from Akira the Sci-fi film the music from the album suited the scenes.”
Serol Serol Gigs
31 March, Nant Conwy Rugby Club, Llanrwst
June 2 – Eisteddfod yr Urdd, Builth Wells Showground