Cymru Cuts #8 - Adwaith, Kim Hon, Ani Glass, YNYS, Sywel Nywl, Blaktrix, Melin Melyn Chroma, Mr Phormula + more 1

Cath Holland’s 2022 roundup

Picking top songs and albums from this year I used the approach that, if by mid-December I’m still listening to and thinking about each on a regular basis then they’re what I call a keeper. Not a scientific system by any stretch, but it works for me. The things I have selected do have something in common apart from satisfying my very good taste/buds; each artist has moved on creatively from past works or offered something new. Always a good thing; if anything – or anyone – stays in the same place for a long time there tends to be a bit of a stagnant whiff. Change is good; I’m not having anyone here who retreads the same path. I included a book and a movie, simply because I can. I have the authority here. All my picks are listed in alphabetical order because I don’t have favourties. Or do I…


Adwaith continued on an ever upward trajectory in 2022, starting with a January show at The Parish in Wrexham courtesy of FOCUS Wales but by spring the trio found themselves dominating the stage when supporting IDLES at Cardiff’s Motorpoint arena. Huge audiences are a wonderful thing but it’s as important and exciting to see Adwaith take Welsh language music into largely virgin territories, whether it be in a working class English-speaking town like Birkenhead, or elsewhere in the world. 

From Adwaith’s second album Bato Mato the single ‘ETO’ was embraced universally, 6 Music’s enthusiastic support noticable. ETO is a classic pop anthem and a glorious celebration of love, which in turn makes me love it more.  A few weeks ago Adwaith won the Welsh Music Prize for the second time with Bato Mato and as they start 2023 as Independent Venue Week Wales’ ambassadors. I can’t wait to see where the next 12 months take them.
Read my interview with Hollie, Gwen and Heledd about the creation of Bato Mato here.
I chatted to Welsh Music Prize co-founder Huw Stephens on the run up to the awards, which you might find interesting.


Anton Newcombe, singer, guitarist, frontman, songwriter, composer, studio owner, multi-instrumentalist, producer, engineer, radio presenter, keen chef of long slow recipes, wrote Brian Jonestown Massacre’s 2022 album Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees after a frustrating period of writer’s block. Maybe that’s the reason the record – three years after the last one – is one largely of positivity and good energy, the relief at creativity flowing once more. The dry patch was followed by new songs emerging quickly in the end, falling like sweet refreshing rain.

‘The Real’ was a particularly instinctive creation, conjured up after picking up his 12-string. There’s a new BJM album out next year. Read my interview with Anton Newcombe about Fire Doesn’t Grown In Trees and much more.


It’s been five years since Charles Howl’s simply wonderful ‘My Idol Family’ album. So new singles released, a session completed for Marc Riley on 6 Music and live dates played in London and Berlin over the past year, raises the spirits and anticipation.

The solo project of the now Berlin-based musician, filmmaker and videographer Danny Nellis shared the cinematic ‘Eveline’ over the summer, and as the dark nights closed in came the thoughtful and personal ‘Leave Me Out’ .  Both songs and last year’s Dreamer (In A Bad Way) see Charles Howl finding a secure footed place in the company of unfussy arrangements with wonky synths and space with room to move, and breathe. Each release is accompanied by a distinctive narrative-driven video. Read about Eveline and watch the vid.

ELVIS (Baz Luhrmann)

Going to see the Luhrmann biopic in a crappy cinema surrounded by people with takeaways wasn’t the best idea. The film deserved somewhere with carpets that didn’t stick to the feet, but how telling it was that a man in the audience expecting a fun movie of dancing and singing and good times, became emotionally more and more uncomfortable as the tragedy of Elvis‘ demise unfolded. The film took a sledgehammer to the myth of Elvis as a superficial entity – a refreshing change.

Austin Butler did a great job as a young Elvis but as the character ages and his world shrinks and darkens, the actor looked a boy playing dress up. Tom Hanks as his manager showed effectively showing what a shithouse Tom Parker was. The film showed the most accurate portrayal to Elvis’ story I’ve seen or read outside the classic and classy Peter Guralnick books. Most of all it showed that Elvis Aaron Presley, his work and what happened him to was not a joke and reminded of the shackles imposed on Britney Spears in recent years. I cried four times.


A three and five year gap between albums is modest in the grand scheme of things, a mere blink compared to the 32 years – count ‘em – it’s taken Robert Hampson’s LOOP to bring out a new record. Sonancy is an album we didn’t see coming but one we desperately need, now it’s here.
Hampson deplores labels but rock, indie, psych, shoegaze has never sounded finer in this, surely the best LOOP record. Remarkable. He talked to me at length about Sonancy, read all about it here.

LOS BLANCOS – Kareem Abdul Jabbar / Chwaraewr Gorau (Yr Ail Dim) /  Bricsen Arall (Another Brick) (Libertino)

Welsh band Los Blancos  are just so bloody great, aren’t they. I caught them live for the first time this year, at the 6 Music Festival fringe and what a bouyant show it was. They come across all effortless and casual, but driven and heart-on-sleeve at the same time, so I made a point of being present for the FOCUS Wales set in the autumn, and once more regret nothing. This year’s double A-side ‘Kareem Abdul Jabbar ‘/ ‘Chwaraewr Gorau (Yr Ail Dim)’ and ‘Bricsen Arall’ (Another Brick), the song they released in conjunction with Welsh language TV channel S4C to mark Wales’ appearance 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup finds them sporty and feelgood.

The band are currently working on a second album, a follow up to  2019’s Welsh Music Prize shortlisted Sbwriel Gwyn.


Scottish poet Michael Pedersen turned his hand to prose to wrote a tender, intimate book about grief. He tells the story of his close friendship with Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison and personal reaction to the songwriter’s death in 2018. Not only that, ‘Boy Friends’ goes on to explore notions of masculinity and looks affectionately at male friendships. It’s a deep dive into loving and losing. Like with the Elvis film, there seemed to be something in my eye a few times. If someone you love has died, you should read this book.

PIXY JONES – BITS N BOBS (Strangetown Records)

Former El Goodo Pixy Jones’ solo album Bits n Bobs, has been rather too overlooked for my liking.  The psych pop maestro melts together 1960s psychedelia, warm harmonies and alt country from the Gram Parsons and Byrds side of the fence combined with melody and honest songwriting, making this an absolute winner.

‘Dewch Draw‘ is the only song on the record sung in Welsh, and translates as ‘come on over’, right up to the brim emotive, with a wave your lighter in the air in a stadium vibe. Pixy chatted to me about his love of reverb and lots of other stuff here.


An email saying ‘Hello, it’s Sean from Spinning Coin, here’s my solo album’ was one of the best things to happen in November. His gentle melodic messaging on both Spinning Coin albums ‘Permo’ and ‘Hyacinth’ continues with ‘The Technical Times’, but with careful delicate instrumentation putting the words and Sean’s haunting sweet vocal front and centre.

Album closer ‘Anyway’ is delicate but hits the sweet spot. Beautiful. You can read my smitten review here.

SISTER WIVES – ‘Y Gawres’ (The Giantess) (Libertino)

Sister Wives’ debut album (The Giantess in English) is inspired by Welsh folklore and mythology. All that mixed with feminist themes, psychedelia, folk, post-punk, garage and 70s glam rock create an eeriness and some absolute bangers. The different experiences of womanhood are explored, from biology to social restrictions. “We think it’s important to be visible as a band of women in our thirties who are still playing gigs and making noise, rather than retreating into more socially acceptable roles and hanging up our instruments,” the band affirm. Sister Wives are based in Sheffield and sing in Welsh and English.



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 single ‘Drama Queen’ is triumphant and euphoric electronic indie alt-pop. I love the empowering feminist themes in Tara’s songs; the most recent, ‘Woman’, is a spot on eflection of the contemporary female experience.


Self-confessed songwriting addict Tom Emlyn fitted in an impressive amount this year, releasing debut solo record News From Nowhere’ followed by acoustic album I’ve Seen You In Town, I’m a sucker for an acoustic ballad and ‘Empire‘ is certainly that, but the arsenal of songs to be enjoyed are not limited to melancholic expression, shot though as they are with humour. Going from each to each we taste the purple smoke of psychedelia, enjoy quality punk rock-outs along with the stark.  

Swansea-born and now residing in Cardiff, Tom finds both amusement and reality in the everyday. Charity single ‘The Ballad of Tea Cosy Pete’ raised cold hard cash for Welsh homeless organization Llamau, whilst simultaneously suggesting we look a little deeper at our own reactions and behaviours to the unfortunate.
He told me all about News From Nowhere here.

Y DAIL – WHIZZ KIDS (Libertino)

We’ve loved Y Dail (The Leaves) since debut single ‘Y Tywysog a’r Teigr’ (‘The Prince and the Tiger’ two years ago. Now Huw Griffiths and sister Elan are with the Libertino label and the quirky oddball highly intelligent alt-pop songs with pop culture and literary references, keep on a comin’. Whizz Kids is the first for the label, a song of wistful Brian Wilson romanticism with a vintage 1980s keyboard giving it Y Dail’s unique edge.

‘I read an old interview with Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout) where he said he wanted to sound like Picasso with a JX3P synth……Whizz Kids is me trying to be Brian Wilson on an old Casio,’ said Huw. I for one an genuinely excited about what’s to come from Y Dail this year and it’s on my 2023 bucket list to catch the pair live.

YNYS – YNYS (Libertino)
Finally the debut eponymously titled album from YNYS’ (‘Island’ in English and pronounced ‘Un-iss’) arrived this autumn, bringing with it songs of ambitious scope whilst remaining personal and very special indeed. The solo project of former Race Horses member Dylan Hughes produced a bloody beautiful record.

With ‘wholesome tambourines’, brass, and so much more, Dylan has made what he refers to as ‘a big cinematic album on a budget’.  Ynys is the sort of record where one’s favourite songs from it shift and change on each listen. Today I really like ‘Aros am Byth’, and the live version with wig out at the end is superb.  Dylan told me about his ambitions to go big and wide with the sound and feel from the get-go.

Adwaith photo credit: Beverley Craddock

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.