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Cymru Cuts #11

Welcome indeed to a brand new edition of Cymru Cuts, crammed full of yes, you guessed it – a selection of the choicest brand new cuts across Wales. Enthusiastic championing and cheering is by Cath Holland (CH) and Bill Cummings (BC).

Ynys Gyda Ni

We’re living in a golden age of S4C’s Lwp music videos, dancing lab assistants in Griff Lynch’s Kombucha last month sealed the deal on that. Now, we have Ynys going all X-Files on us with UFO mysteries and flash cars n fashion for ‘Gyda Ni’ (With Us) the second single from forthcoming record Dosbarth Nos (Night Class). The song is high drama itself, offset by the sweetness of nostalgia, an element turning out to be an essential part of the Ynys makeup. But this is no comfortable sepia-tinged saunter – or shuffle and slide – on varnished wooden floors in Wigan Casino. Pack your talc and keep the faith; the Northern Soul flavour is given cinematic adventure thanks to sharply tipped strings.The song is chockful of excitement and joy. ‘I think that on contemporary records people sometimes have a fear of making music that sounds catchy,’ says the band’s linchpin Dylan Hughes. Ynys are indeed fraidy of nothing and no-one. (CH)

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Tom EmlynDouble-Crossed

Cardiff-based Swansea-born troubadour Tom Emlyn continues on his upward trajectory of quality, inciteful songwriting in the form of ‘Double-Crossed”. Wonderfully understated, it is touching sprinkled with the unmistakable tang of salt and bite; sung with fragility and vulnerability (‘I tried to love you, but I can’t act my age’ he confesses) and humour streaked right through (‘I don’t know my neighbours,’ Emlyn reflects wearily; ‘I’ve never tried’) , over a lo-fi Velvets organ and excuse me but is that some Joe Meek eccentricity in there too?

Double-Crossed is from new album Rehearsal For The Rain: Scaredycat, Vol.2, due for release on 29 August. The humorous but eerie video by Sam Ffoto is series of photographs of Tom larking about in amongst the gravestones and foliage, taken rapidly enough to give the clever illusion of film, on a parky January day in Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff. (CH)

Mr Bewlay – Honey

Well well well. Who’d have thought it. Turns out indie art pop tart Mr Bewlay has a sweet and smoochy side. Freshly signed to Newport indie label Dirty Carrot, new single ‘Honey’ is delightful and engaging, with a side serving of naughty but nice, exploring love and adoration. Themes well mined, indeed – but Bewlay sings with a passionate sincerity whilst displaying delicious dark humour. Honey starts smartly, vocals front and centre, non-invasive funk bed and simple piano melody, smooth and cool but sprinkled with humour; we’re sensing the schoolboy smirk counting the double entendres. Quite the entertainment in itself.
Honey is the first release from third EP Against All Reason, the final instalment of his Reason Trilogy.

Mr Bewlay in Liverpool, March 2024. Photo credit: Michelle Marshall


Tristwch Y Fenywod – Ferch Gyda’r Llygaid Du

Tristwch y Fenywod aka Gwretsien Ferch Lisbeth (Guttersnipe, The Ephemeron Loop), Leila Lygad (Hawthonn) & Sidni Sarffwraig (Slaylor Moon, The Courtneys) recently announced their self-titled debut album out 30 August 2024 via Night School Records. This Welsh language act based in the depths of Leeds’ experimental underground, craft dark pagan like sounds that merge elements of post punk, alien folk music, swirling with siren-like vocals, delivering ghostly liturgies, underpinned by striking drum machine beats, that sound like someone panel beating in an abandoned warehouse. They cite early 4AD, Pornography-era The Cure, This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance, Svitlana Nianio, but we also hear the sound of early Cocteau Twins. It’s a bewitching first offering from this intriguing collective. (BC)

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Sage Todz – Love?

“Love and hate can be two sides of a coin,” bilingual MC Sage Todz told Klatmag earlier this year. With his new single, ‘Love??’ this vital rapper who hails from North Wales but is now based in Cardiff examines one side of the coin, delivering his most heartfelt and playful effort yet. Don’t get it twisted though this is still the Sage we love, his adoring couplets are laser focused and decorating this joyous beat and summery backdrop that sets flight. Giddy and heady, it’s perhaps his most commercial single yet, but still retains what makes Sage so damn good, the intimacy of his delivery, the quickfire rhyming and the rawness of his music “love is a crazy thought” he offers. It captures all the excitement and apprehension of a new infatuation that comes with possibilities and risks of putting your heart on the line. Addictive. (BC)

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Peiriant – Taflu Dŵr

Peiriant are a duo of violin and electric guitar, who play with melody and tonality to create atmosphere and soundscape. Electronic equipment, samples and found objects also add to their semi-improvised pieces, which are spun from grounded ideas. Recent single ‘Taflu Dŵr’ scratches and simmers with elements of folk, classical and post rock textures, anchored in the depths of the revines and mountains of the Welsh landscape. Elements of atonal distortion and fragments of plucked melody peek through the clouds, and offer glimpses of light and cloud over again, it’s an intriguing and exploritive piece, that’s fasinatingly detailed..

Live performances have included BBC Radio 3: Late Junction at Chapter arts centre, Cardiff 2017, NAWR concert series (Swansea & Hay on Wye 2018 to present). They are regular performers at Nozstock festival & How The Light Gets In. In 2021 they released River Songs E.P : A collection of four pieces inspired by the River Wye. (BC)

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.