Cymru Cuts #7 – Immersed Festival, Mared, Y Dail, Bandicoot,Tara Bandito, heddlu!
The Immersed! Festival organised by the students at USE, showcases Cardiff’s vibrant music scene across three fringe events (from the 29 to 31 March ) in support of 6 Music’s Festival in the city at the weekend. In aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, it features five stages & over 60 artists at Tramshed & CULTVR Lab plus online. The diverse and vibrant bill includes the likes of hot local MC Mace the Great who just returned from a Focus Wales showcase at SXSW, the joyous jazz, funk hip hop fusion of Afro Cluster, plus a range of exciting upcoming artists like Minas, Lemfreck and femmebug.Over at CULTVR lab Libertino records boast a line up including dreamy tunesmiths Ynys, new wave locals Silent Forum and SYBS.
Sophisticated and soulful, ‘Something Worth Losing’ is the title track of Mared’s soul-pop EP, slated for release in the spring.
The Welsh Language Album of the Year 2021 (for ‘Y Drefn’) winner hits the sweet spot with this release, following on from the success of recent singles, ‘Pictures’ and ‘Let Me Go’.
These new songs are co-written with producer Nate Williams during lockdown sessions on Anglesey are winning radio support including BBC Radio Wales playlisting, inclusion on BBC Radio 1’s Power Down Playlist and Selector Radio by DJ’s Sian Eleri and Ifan Davies.
The songs draw influences from the likes of Emily King, Lianne La Havas and Sara Bareilles.
On the surface a song with the lyric ‘my flames burn higher than your house’ sounds like an angst-ridden threat, but instead Tara Bandito‘s new single Drama Queen is triumphant and euphoric electronic indie pop.
Out on Recordiau Côsh Records, it’s an empowering message of positivity, rebirth and having faith in oneself, flipping from mantra ‘Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo’ (‘I bow to the divine wisdom within myself”) to Welsh to English and back again.
Tara played London’s Roundhouse in March and she will appear at Focus Wales in May. The video for Drama Queen by Andy Neil Pritchard, was made thanks to BBC’s Horizons Launchpad fund earlier this year.
GIITV and 6 Music‘s Marc Riley favourite Y Dail (The Leaves) shows no sign of slowing down, tantalising us with a drip-drip of indie pop perfection, single after single. It’s a special treat every couple of months or so. We snaffle them up, eagerly following a trail.
New single ‘You Don’t Have to Be Blue Forever’ has that quirky freshness and joyful hand claps we’ve come to expect from teenager Huw Griffiths‘ burgeoning project, buoyant yet cleverly avoiding the trap of being too clean. Lyrically he’s exploring more, this new single shows humour with a definite bite. Oh, and there’s added cowbell.
Y Dail are clocking up some quality support slots too, with HMS Morriss and Papur Wal already in the bag.
Read our Welsh Language Music Day 2022 Q&A with Y Dail here
Just a few Welsh guys rockin & rollin all the way downtown in @sxsw Austin Texas. 🏴🇺🇸🌵🦅
What a month for Swansea’s Bandicoot. Debut album ‘Black After Dark’ was released and they playing a sold out Clwd Ifor Bach in Cardiff before flying over to Austin, Texas for SXSW. The band’s first set in the US won the attention of the Austin Chronicle who selected the performance as one of the ‘Best Music they saw’, saying “Bandicoot served up an indefatigable eight-song set that started at roof-raising and stayed there”.
To cap that off, Bandicoot are longlisted for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. The eventual winner bags the chance to perform at Glastonbury – previous winners include Liverpool’s She Drew The Gun.
Rhodri Daniel‘s new project heddlu! (‘Police’ in Welsh, derived from the words ‘peace-force’) is so very, wonderfully different from previous band Estrons.
Debut single ‘Daw Eto Haul’ is frantic and sythy, a dance floor filler-in-waiting.
The phrase itself was repeated to Rhodri by his sister as he struggled to come to terms with his hearing affected by years of touring the rock circuit. ‘The mantra kind of stuck and I ended up repeating it to myself through bad times, but I think it’s a message we can all relate to after these tough past few years,’ he says.
Daw Eto Haul is the first of a series of singles culminating in the release of heddlu‘s debut EP.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.