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Tracks of the Week: Focus Wales 2024 Special

As we’re all off to Wrecsam this week we thought we’d do a bit of Focus Wales special for TOTW. Here we choose some of our favourite songs by some of the acts playing over the festival days and nights and early morns. If you’re going make sure you check them out. Times and days provided. Bish, bash, bosh!! 

Home Counties – Uptight

Home Counties are a six piece from London who have just released their debut LP Exactly As It Seems which is an ode to moving to the capital when you’re in your mid twenties and the trappings and tribulations that brings. 

Uptight‘ describes that feeling of not really enjoying a night out, crap beer, crap club, but feeling a bit silly and embarrassed for just walking out and getting the bus home. Instead of being a quiet lament however it is a dancefloor banger and is taking the DJ from the club on to the bus. When you put on what you want to hear on a night out not what the terrible DJ wants you to hear. 

They say “The lyrics largely moan about the petty annoyances you voice on a night out, like the extortionate price of pints or queuing for ages to get into a dive bar. It also discusses the worry that everyone thinks you’re boring, or that you’ve grown old too quickly, and how this feeds the cycle of repeatedly going out to places you hate“.

You can get on your dancing shoes (you sexy little swines) at Llwyn Isaf on Thursday at 7.40pm. (Jim Auton) 

Annie Dressner – Dance We Do

Annie is a New York City native but now resides in Cambridge over here. This comes from her fourth album ‘I Thought It Would Be Easier’ which was released on 5th April. She was a guest on our Show Me Magic Podcast in January just before this single came out. 

This track is infectious, rhythm guitars like a train, double tracked vocals and arpeggio like rain. Theres a juxtaposed feeling of impatience musically underneath what seem like a calm, rational vocal. 

She says “It’s song about confusing, toxic love.  Sometimes love is not straight forward and sometimes it feels like a game, never knowing where you should stand – or if you’re even safe in it”. 

She plays St Giles on Thursday at 7.20pm. (Jim Auton) 

WRKHOUSE – Getaway

WRKHOUSE craft exciting bilingual alt-pop songs crammed with invigorating hooks, and synths underpinned by spacious inventive percussion, check out ‘Getaway’, it’s a sound with undertones of the likes of Tears for Fears or Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Foals, and 1975 but sounds refreshingly of now, infused with a bold, heart on the sleeve. They recently released their debut EP, Out of the Blue.

Formed by members Lewys Meredydd Siencyn, Gethin Meilir Elis, Iestyn Jones and Ioan Bryn, the Welsh four-piece delivers atmospheric songs that emphasise the beauty of the Welsh language with bilingual songwriting and swelling melodies. With their musical backgrounds ranging from classical to contemporary.

They play the pre Festival night on Wednesday at The Parish on at 9.35pm. (Bill Cummings)


Born in Newport, Wales, ManLikeVision is laying his own path with his inventive sound, intricate flow and lyrics packed with his personality and experiences. Vision, who represents his lyrical talent on Hip Hop/Grime beats, started writing at a very young age, greatly influenced by his father, veteran MC, Pun Ra.

Since his explosive entrance onto the scene with Best Believe in January 2021 and his Welsh Music Prize-nominated debut album Boy from the South, he’s since released a string of excellent singles including the fiercely personal and witty earworm ‘Doing Better’. While his brilliant second album Love Letters he expanded his palette, splashes of pianos, soulful singing and horns, decorate these expertly put together tracks, Vision takes his wordplay and personal storytelling to new levels. Standouts include the brassy sway of ‘Risk’ as he strikes out boldly with illuminated bars, juxtaposing the sunny soundtrack with the cost of creativity, struggles of growing up and the barriers in the way of being heard.

He plays on Friday at 8.25pm upstairs in Penny Black (Bill Cummings)

em koko – Take Me As I Am

‘Take me as I am’ is the debut single from em koko meditating on acceptance and safety,  underpinned by a drum machine beat and throbbing baselines, layered synths and nagging guitars its a enveloping and detailed atmosphere that taps into emotional depths and liminal in-between spaces of the early online world. Koko’s delivery is dissonantly cool and burns with emotive introspection, yet ripples with a strength, command and self discovery. Redolent of early Cocteau Twins shimmering against elements of industrial shoegaze that conjures up the work of Warpaint or DIVV. The multitalented em koko found her footing in Abergavenny and played bass and synth for leading South Wales musicians Alice Low and Minas. Her debut single has the artist putting that bass and synth expertise right at the fore “communicating dissociated messages of strength and encouragement from beyond the liminal veil of the electronic mainframe.” 

She plays Old No. 7 Bar on Friday at 6.15pm. (Bill Cummings)

Generation Feral – new born adult

Izzy Liddamore, a female solo artist originally from a dead-end town in Essex, now based in Cardiff goes under the moniker Generation Feral. Last year she released a excellent debut EP life looks best sideways , standouts include perky juxtaposition of perky strums and broken homes of ‘the kids are not alright’. Plus ‘new born adult’ that’s ushered in on a looping ukulele motif and backed by saxophones, this sprawling poetic monologue about growing up in her generation and all of its struggles and closed opportunities and tiny flashes of joy, it flowers with self discovery and playfulness reminding one of early Black Country New Road and Kae Tempest, “everyone writes about nature but they don’t go outside….in the middle of it all i found myself dreaming in colours of light/in the middle of it all I find myself healing I might just be alright”  Liddamore emotes above a gyrating saxophones, and plunges back into a narrative.

She describes music as her outlet (as cliche as that sounds) for a lot of the negativity of 2023, and anxieties that come with it, and believes that sometimes chords and notes can describe the slew of emotions associated with the 21st century better than our own words can. Wonderfully unique, intensely personal and universal I am eager to hear more and see her live.

They play The Fat Boar at 6.45pm on Thursday. (Bill Cummings)

Spiritualized – Soul on Fire

Take a listen to ‘Soul on Fire’ and it will quickly become apparent why Spiritualized are one of the headliners at this year’s Focus Wales. Much like the music festival itself the song is innovative and inspired, twisting together a wide range of creative ideas. ‘Soul on Fire’ is a beautiful amalgam of space rock, psychedelia, gospel and blues and revisiting it here makes even more sense given that details have just emerged of the reissue of Songs in A&E, the 2008 album from which it is taken.

Still a regular feature of Spiritualized’s live set, Soul on Fire’ could quite easily be heard in Lloyd Isaf on Saturday night. If so, be prepared to be blown away by its elegant euphoria.

They play Llwyn Isaf on Saturday at 8.20pm. (Simon Godley)

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.