Welsh punk band Breichiau Hr deliver an urgent call to arms with their new single, ‘Penblwydd Hapus Iawn'. An unflinching three minutes of punk aggression powered by a wall of three pronged guitars and cathartic screams, underscored by brittle melodic interplay, reminiscent of the band’s early influences, Sunny Day Real Estate, At The Drive In and The Get Up Kids, it proves that Breichiau Hr's visceral prescient sound is primed for wider attention. Steffan Dafydd the band’s lyricist and vocalist explains: "the setting of the song is a catastrophic birthday party I attended a few years ago where I witnessed the worst in some of the best people”. It's Breichiau Hr’s third release on West Wales imprint Libertino records, home to the most exciting emerging Welsh acts(Adwaith, Los Blancos, Silent Forum). If ever a band was needed to soundtrack these unhinged times, where there is a lack of political and social responsibility and accountability, Breichiau Hir fill that void with passion and honesty. Breichiau Hir are a cult Welsh language six-piece with a rich history spanning over a decade that depicts just how committed they are to their cause. They met in 2008 when they were schoolmates in Cardiff, inspired by the post-hardcore, punk and emo bands of the 1990s. They released a handful of self-produced DIY singles and played numerous shows throughout their university years. "In 2015 we recorded our EP Mae'r Angerdd Yma Yn Troi Yn Gas.” Says Dafydd “We were still experimenting and seeing what fits. This was the first time we had recorded a collection of songs all in one studio with Mei Gwynedd who also released it via his label Jigcal" The singles 'Toddi' and 'Ti A Dy Ffordd' both received airplay and critical acclaim. Ti A Dy Ffordd was picked out as 2015's song of the year in Golwg magazine. In 2018, they signed to Libertino Records and released the dark melodic sound of double-a side, 'Halen' and 'Mewn Darnau', rounding off the year with the speak/shouty punk single, 'Portread O Ddyn Yn Bwyta Ei Hun.'
“Welsh Language emo heroes Breichiau Hr are one of the best kept secrets I reckon, combining urgency and melody and leaving you want to cry and learn Welsh”
Artist: Breichiau Hir Rhyddhau/Release: Penblwydd Hapus Iawn Dyddiad Rhyddhau Digidol/Digital Release Date: 12 / 04 / 19 Label: Libertino
This playlist includes the tracks which have been most popular on the AmeriCymru site over the last ten years. Each of these tracks has been posted , liked and commented upon more than any others. They are not arranged in any particular order and no online vote was taken (we may do that next year). The list has been published to coincide with Dydd Miwsig Cymru 2019. If you don't know what Dydd Miwsig Cymru is, please visit their website here:- Dydd Miwsig Cymru
To anyone who is not familiar with Welsh language music we have included a track listing below complete with links to YouTube search pages for each of the artists listed. Enjoy/Mwynhewch!
Check back tomorrow for a new playlist. You will need a Spotify account to play this content.
Dydd Miwsig Cymru is on February 8th this year. Here on AmeriCymru we are not waiting for the big day. As part of our campaign to support this event and make it the biggest online musical happening of 2019 we will be posting a new playlist every day between now and the 8th. Listen to our today's playlist above. Feel free to re post and share.
Above all...spread the word!!!
Lets give these artists and musicians the recognition they deserve. Show your friends (and the world) what a wealth of extraordinary musical talent we have in Wales. There are ideas, suggestions and playlists on the official Dydd Miwsig Cymru site to help you out.
Prefer to make your own YouTube playlist? It's easy! There are full instructions here:- Make Playlist
Want to embed your playlist on your site or blog? Again....no problem! Go here for full instructions:- Embed Playlist
Whatever you decide to do between now and the 8th; whether you participate or simply sample the wealth of musical delights on offer....enjoy/mwynhewch!
Stuart: The Welsh male voice choir book is simply an overview of the history of men’s choirs in the South Wales area, from the past to the present day.
It explores what is happening when you join a men’s choir and what to expect.
AmeriCymru: When did you first become interested in Welsh Male Voice Choirs?
Stuart: I was told about male voice choirs when I joined my first choir at 16 years of age. My first job was to be the choir guest accompanist for Cor Meibion Morlais at the age of 16. I missed their tour of Canada. I couldn’t go as I couldn’t afford it and didn’t know the repertoire but I soon became known as a good musician by pupils from Ferndale Community School when I was known to play the piano for the choir of Ferndale Community School / Maerdy.
There was also a family history of my grandfather singing in Welsh male voice choirs and I got him back into singing again after a long spell of absence since Ferndale Male Voice Choir fell apart around 1989.
AmeriCymru: Why, historically, do you think that choirs became such a central part of Welsh social and cultural life?
Stuart: Men’s choirs need to keep on attracting students in schools and doing creative projects and events.
All choristers must remain positive and not sit on their bottoms and do nothing all day. Every human must try and make an effort by giving up their time to bring something to young men to come in. They can’t go to a coal mine now to work and say "hey mate do you fancy coming for a drink with me after" and have a sing song and something to do and also keep you company.
They have to forget all that and having music marketing in mind and offer digital products and more and more networking live music events wherever they can travel globally.
When there are no youngsters we won’t have male choirs. They can’t ask young people to pay if they are unemployed. Wherever you're from.
If more choirs were thinking of that psychological strategy more and more young men wouldn’t be isolated and would actually get out more and learn more about life exactly as I did.
AmeriCymru: Do you have any favourites? Any choirs whose achievements and current standards merit a special mention?
Stuart: Pendyrus Choir are currently outstanding. At the moment their sound is as good as I’ve ever heard them before. I don’t want to give an opinion on certain songs that hit me whenever I hear a male voice choir because wherever you are depends on the venue. I have emotion and some people don’t when they listen to or play music.
I’ll leave that opinion up to you.
AmeriCymru: Do you think that the future of the Welsh choral tradition is assured? The rate of recruitment of younger members is declining. Is anything being done to reverse this trend?
Stuart: No I disagree, with this opinion, I actually feel younger members have a big role to play in men’s choirs and we are seeing more young singers entering men’s choir not just in Wales but over in England too. I think young men just want to just do something different now. They want to distract themselves from the women if they can afford it. The reason why, if any, young men are not in men’s choirs is because they can’t afford the subscription costs which are often a worry or burden for many young men even though they live with their parents or if they are on their own it’s much harder. If you adapt a range of styles youngsters will just come because the music won’t be the same repertoire. It has to be constantly rapidly changing for concert audiences.
I don’t just talk about Music, but I am making contradictory opinions on what I think happened in the male voice choir’s industry and arguing that not all men’s choirs are suffering for young members declining.
I actually think a lot of training work is being done to attract singers from schools to come to choirs and there is evident research that this does happen from peripatetic music teachers that connect with youngsters in the schools to come to the choirs.
AmeriCymru: Where can people go online to purchase 'The Power & Glory of Welsh Male Voice Choir Singing'?
It’s actually free for Amazon Unlimited account users.
AmeriCymru: What's next for Stuart Street? Do you plan any more publications?
Stuart: I can offer paperback editions of my book when the publisher says they are interested in my book.
I am currently doing a Master of Music in the University of West London – London College of Music so the future is still unknown and I may turn my writing into digital or book publications just a bit like I have been doing with this.
I am going to record a track promotional CD of Bass Trombone & Piano music and also new Bass Trombone repertoire music on YouTube and Vimeo.
AmeriCymru: Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Stuart: I haven’t been on here for a while, but I am also a musical artist and my digital sales have actually risen quite well however it won’t harm to trigger further music marketing hyperlinks so that your members can have complete access to my free music tracks in full and there is an option for you to download or stream my music products too. I recorded classical crossover piano music and I think you’d agree that I tried my best with them and tried to upload them on digital aggregator tunecore.com to put my music on all the websites / apps that you love. iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon mp3 Digital Music, band camp
Discover the formations of male voice and go on a journey with Stuart to see how communities have formed male voice choirs. Learn how singing goes good with sport and why the Welsh love to sing. Why is male singing, so powerful and rich? Why do we still like singing? I talk about the formations of tonic - sol - fa and I follow my roots in the Rhondda Valley's in the mining industry of South Wales. I interview local Rhondda men and women who have actively been involved in music making in the Rhondda. You'll be convinced that singing in Wales is a good interest and everyone should have a go and sing!
From the Wikipedia :- "Deck the Halls" (original English title: "Deck the Hall") is a traditional Yuletide and New Years' carol. The "fa-la-la" refrains were probably originally played on the harp. The tune is Welsh dating back to the sixteenth century, and belongs to a winter carol, Nos Galan.
The tune is that of an old Welsh air, first found in a musical manuscript by Welsh harpist John Parry Ddall (c. 17101782), but undoubtedly much older than that. The composition is still popular as a dance tune in Wales, and was published in the 1784 and 1794 editions of the harpist Edward Jones's Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards. Poet John Ceiriog Hughes wrote the first published lyrics for the piece in Welsh, titling it "Nos Galan" ("New Year's Eve"). A middle verse was later added by folk singers. In the eighteenth century the tune spread widely, with Mozart using it in a piano and violin concerto and, later, Haydn in the song "New Year's Night.
Originally, carols were dances and not songs. The accompanying tune would have been used as a setting for any verses of appropriate metre. Singers would compete with each other, verse for verse known as canu penillion dull y De ("singing verses in the southern style"). The church actively opposed these folk dances. Consequently, tunes originally used to accompany carols became separated from the original dances, but were still referred to as "carols". The popular English lyrics for this carol are not a translation from the Welsh."
The above version ( together with many other tracks ) is performed by Dr J.Marshall Bevil on the Welsh traditional instrument - the crwth. Linked below is a three part interview with Dr Bevil about the instrument:-
Junior Bill release four new self-released tracks on the 15th of November to coincide with a run of dates including supporting Danny Goffey (Supergrass) before returning for a homecoming show in Cardiff.
Junior Bill return after the success of their award-winning concert film “Above Your Station” with brand new music. Their new self-titled release features four fresh, exciting recordings steeped in narratives rooted in the history, myths and culture of Cardiff. The record further expands upon Junior Bill’s distinctive, infectious genre-blurring marriage of ska, reggae, dub, latin, punk and pop songwriting that has won them fans both on stage and on record. It was produced with Andrew Sanders (Jemma Roper, Big Thing) at Kings Road Studio In January 2017 and mastered by Matthew Evans (Keys, El Goodo). Lead track "There's A Wolf In Grangetown" with its ghostly dub and catchy lyrical stream that’s use of accent and lingo is infectious and manages to have echoes of both Jamie T and The Specials but still retains the Junior Bill stamp. It documents the long-held myth that a wolf prowls the streets of Grangetown, a lively multicultural area in Junior Bill’s hometown of Cardiff. Some say the wolf has returned to the area in the past month or so, whilst others say it may simply be a marketing ploy from a certain band. The band's mischievous promo antics have already caused the legendary 'Grangetown Wolf' to become a cult Cardiff figure, with a local tourist gift shop creating their own Grangetown Wolf logos, art being created by its inspiration and even a twitter account posing as the wolf itself.(more here)
Second track “Romas” has a lusher distinctively more latin feel with its use of trumpets and sprightly percussion. Its celebratory chorus was written in defence of an ostracised ethnic community; “This one's for the Romas and the Czechs/They don't get no respect”. Both songs see Junior Bill continue to sing the gritty, street-level stories of urban Cardiff whilst delivering catchy choruses that ring around the listener's brain for weeks, just like the whispered provincial rumours from which the lyrics were born. "The Butetown RATS" begins with a more stripped back a haunting isolated vocal and narrative rooted in the history of Cardiff’s docks. It is then joined by skittering military drums, organs and glistening chords that unravels into an addictive singalong that reminds one of Joe Strummer’s latter work. The song is based on a play written and directed by Cardiff's Kyle Legall called "R.A.T.S. - Rose Against The System". The play and the song documents the plight of rats being forced out of the former docks of Cardiff Bay by the new developments of restaurants, pubs and flats. In the play, the rats come across an unexploded bomb from World War II, and plan to blow it up to return the bay to what it once was. Rob Nichols of Junior Bill performed the song at a performance of the play in the Wales Millennium Centre. A live performance video of the track will also be released on the 15th November. Behind the foot tapping dub pop charm of final track “Old Cardiff Winds” lies one of Nichols’s richest and most incisive lyrical sentiments. The song is based on a folk song written by Mike Johnson, the owner of Cardiff’s historic Coal Exchange venue. Rob recontextualised Johnson’s wistful nostalgic chorus about the glory days of Cardiff’s docks - “Oh don’t you wish you’d been there/there brushing steam from your hair” - to make it a sarcastic comment, bemoaning the superficialities of the city’s modern touristic cosmopolitan drive whilst it forgets its true soul and leaves behind the communities who built the it - "Gonna need a bigger rug to hide all you featherweight thugs/Peoples proud and picaresque, make way for the picturesque". It’s this clash of the new and old worlds, social empathy and political understanding that make Junior Bill’s songs so uniquely pertinent and interesting.
Formed in 2013, Junior Bill have been through a few incarnations, but the writing talents of Rob Nichols have combined with keyboard & synth player Joel Beswick and bassist Rory Saunders since the bands inception. The five-piece is currently completed by drummer Jim Strickland and newest member Luke Owen on vocals, samples and guitar. Junior Bill’s live show has been highly praised for its enthralling energy and has earned them the reputation of being one of the best new acts in Wales.This November they will seek to prove it with a run of support shows across the UK with Danny Goffey (Supergrass) before returning for a homecoming show in Cardiff, their first in a year.
Live dates (*supporting Danny Goffey): 16th November – Old Market Assembly, Bristol 17th November – Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield* 18th November – The Hug & Pint, Glasgow* 19th November – Cluny 2, Newcastle* 20th November – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham* 21st November – Soup Kitchen, Manchester* 22nd November – Bullingdon, Oxford* 23rd November – Thousand Island, London* 24th November – Gwdihw, Cardiff
The Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir, and the Band of the 15th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, join forces on Remembrance Day with music paying tribute to those who served to bring peace. The choir toured western Europe in 2017, singing at Vimy Ridge, Menin Gate, Juno Beach and other sites. With those vivid reflections, and the war’s end anniversary, this year’s remembrance concert will be especially poignant for the choristers as they perform with this superb military band.
South Delta - Saturday, November 10, 2018
2:30pm, South Delta Baptist Church, 1988 56 Street, Delta BC.
Tickets available only at Massey Theatre*, or call the theatre box office at 604‑521‑5050*.
* Ticket service charges apply.
Visit our website at www.vwmc.ca to learn more about the choir, our CDs, and opportunities to audition for the choir.
Christmas is coming...
Heads-up for our seven concerts celebrating the Sounds of Christmas. Click on the links below for more information about the concert, venue, and ticket purchase. We are again delighted to share the stage on five occasions with some exceptional school choirs who will present a portion of the programme on their own, and join with us for a few combined songs.
“Ani transcends language with her shimmering take on pop.” Eugenie Johnson – DIY
Ani Glass releases her new single 'Peirianwaith Perffaith' (Perfect Machinery) on the 26th of October through Recordiau Neb. She will be performing at Pop Montréal on the 28th and 29th of September and will be attending as part of the Focus Wales delegation, supported by PRS Foundation's International Showcase Fund and Wales Arts International.
Ani Glass is back with her new single 'Peirianwaith Perffaith' (Perfect Machinery) underpinned by a tapestry of pulsing and prodding synths, samples and programmed beats bathed in the neon of the city’s industrial glow. Her sublime pirouetting vocal refrains infuses a knowing pop universality into the overwhelming experience of life in the city’s engine room. Ani says it’s about how the “search for identity in a moving city and society insists on a sense of stillness often found in the shadows of progress”.
Released as a single in 2016, the industrial electro-pop of ‘Y Ddawns’ (The Dance) is a rallying call for those seeking inspiration in language and art. Laura Snapes of Pitchfork said it was "a double-edged sword that's as stern as it is hopeful; music for the end of the world, and the start of a new one." While BBC Wales’s Bethan Elfyn named it “Perfect Euro Pop!”
Ani followed this with the release of her debut EP ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’ (Silent Explosion) on Recordiau Neb which included six infectious, socially conscious electronic pop songs. They stand as a document of Ani Glass’s artistic evolution invested with grander themes concerning the Welsh language and politics. A Remix version of the EP was later released and featured reinterpretations by Carcharorion, Cotton Wolf, Plyci and R. Seiliog.
Ani Glass is the persona of Cardiff-based electronic pop musician, producer, artist and photographer, Ani Saunders. Fiercely proud of her heritage, Glass sings in her native languages Welsh and Cornish, and in 2016 released her first solo material with lead single ‘Ffôl’ (Foolish) being chosen as single of the week on BBC Radio Cymru and gaining plays on BBC 6 music.
Ani is also known for her work with The Pipettes, joining in 2008 to record the Martin Rushent-produced Earth Vs. The Pipettes album. Prior to her stint with the polka-dotted pop band, Glass was a member of Genie Queen, managed by OMD’s Andy McCluskey.
28.09 Casa Del Popolo - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 29.09 Marché des Possibles Park - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 03.10 Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff (Forté Project & FOCUS Wales)
Ar y 26ain o Hydref, bydd Ani Glass yn rhyddhau ei sengl newydd Peirianwaith Perffaith ar Recordiau Neb. Fe fydd Glass yn perfformio yng Ngŵyl Pop Montréal ar y 28ain a’r 29ain o fis Medi fel rhan o ddirprwyaeth Gŵyl Focus Wales – a hyn wedi iddi dderbyn cefnogaeth PRS Foundation a Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru.
Mae Ani Glass nôl gyda’i sengl newydd ‘Peirianwaith Perffaith’ sy’n frodwaith o synau synth gofodol, samplau a churiadau diwydiannol. Mae pob nodyn o’i llais yn arnofio’n swynol uwchben sain peirianyddol y ddinas. Yn ôl Ani, mae’r gân yn trafod yr ysfa i “chwilio am hunaniaeth yng nghanol dryswch y ddinas a ffeindio cysur a llonyddwch yng nghysgodion gobaith”.
Rhyddhawyd sengl ‘Y Ddawns’ yn 2016 – roedd yn alwad ar y rheiny oedd yn chwilio am ysbrydoliaeth mewn iaith a chelf. Yn ôl Laura Snapes o Pitchfork, roedd y gân yn "gerddoriaeth ar gyfer diwedd y byd, a dechrau un newydd" tra disgrifiodd Bethan Elfyn BBC Wales hi’n “Ewro-pop perffaith!”
Yn dilyn hyn, fe wnaeth Ani rhyddhau ei EP cyntaf, ‘Ffrwydrad Tawel’, ar Recordiau Neb. Roedd yn cynnwys chwe chân pop – saif fel ddogfen o esblygiad Ani fel artist wrth iddi ymwneud â themâu ehangach gan gynnwys yr iaith Gymraeg a gwleidyddiaeth. Rhyddhawyd fersiwn remics o'r EP yn ddiweddarach a oedd yn cynnwys ail-ddehongliadau gan Carcharorion, Cotton Wolf, Plyci ac R. Seiliog.
Ani Glass yw persona’r gerddores gerddoriaeth bop electronig, artist, ffotograffydd a chynhyrchwraig Ani Saunders. Bydd Ani Glass yn canu yn ei hieithoedd brodorol sef y Gymraeg a’r Gernyweg ac y mae’n hynod falch o’i hetifeddiaeth. Rhyddhaodd ei gwaith cyntaf fel unawdydd yn ystod 2016. Cafodd ei phrif record sengl ‘Ffôl’ ei dewis yn ‘sengl yr wythnos’ gan BBC Radio Cymru ac yr oedd i’w chlywed ar sianel BBC 6 Music.
Bu Ani yn aelod o The Pipettes, gan ymuno yn 2008 a recordio’r albwm Earth Vs. The Pipettes gyda’r cynhyrchydd Martin Rushent. Cyn hyn roedd Glass yn aelod o Genie Queen a oedd yn cael eu rheoli gan Andy McCluskey o’r grŵp OMD.
28.09 Casa Del Popolo - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 29.09 Marché des Possibles Park - Montréal (Pop Montréal) 03.10 Clwb Ifor Bach – Caerdydd (Forté Project & FOCUS Wales)
When The Beatles performed in his home town of Abergavenny; Bryn Yemm who was rapidly gaining a reputation as a prominent entertainer was amongst those invited to greet the “Fab 4”.
With over 10 albums of contemporary classic songs, together with performances throughout the world, Bryn is deservedly placed in the list of truly great entertainers. The Guinness Book of Hit Albums testifies this; acknowledging that Bryn was the only UK artist to have 2 chart entries in top 100 albums during 1986.
Today his albums offer a more reflective mood and once again he has identified exceptional musicians to collaborate on a truly inspirational album; a gift he demonstrated with “Gateway to Song” with the Morriston Orpheus Choir, “How Great Thou Art” with the Treorchy Male Voice Choir”, “Across the Bridge” with the Kidz R Us choir and the award winning “Let There Be Peace” with the Richard William Singers. Faith, Hope & Salvation – Bryn Yemm meets Salvation Brass – is an extraordinary collection of amazing songs, songs to inspire, songs to raise the spirit and songs to sing along with.
Salvation Brass are outstanding musicians, drawn from Salvation Army bands from across the UK. They contribute distinctive arrangements to each song under the guidance of the musical director Dean Jones. The Morrison Songsters realise the magnificence of the melody, then highlight and emphasise the essence of these songs. This album contains songs/hymns that are classics from Salvation Army Bands repertoire.
No matter where in the world I perform, I am proud to proclaim “I am from Wales – the land of song”; this is reflected by the inclusion of “Calon Lan” and “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah” (“Bread of Heaven” as sang by Welsh rugby fans worldwide).
Bryn enthuses “I am particularly excited and proud of my version of “McArthur Park”, with the brass band it thunders along”.
A lyric from “McArthur Park” says “I’ll never have that recipe again”; we hope that Bryn Yemm will continue to find the recipe for further collaborations with exceptional musicians and albums to inspire all ages.