Search Results for:

GWENNO

Gwenno

Tresor

    Tresor (Treasure) is Gwenno Saunders’ third full length solo album and the second almost entirely in Cornish (Kernewek). Written in St. Ives, Cornwall, just prior to the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and completed at home in Cardiff during the pandemic along with her co-producer and musical collaborator, Rhys Edwards, Tresor reveals an introspective focus on home and self, a prescient work echoing the isolation and retreat that has been a central, global shared experience over the past two years.

    Tresor diverges from the stark themes of technological alienation in Y Dydd Olaf (The Final Day) and the meditations on the idea of the homeland on the slyly infectious Le Kov (The Place of Memory). Accessible and international in outlook, peppered with moments of offbeat humour, Le Kov presented Cornish to the world. The impact of Le Kov was resounding, providing for the Cornish language an unprecedented international platform that saw Gwenno touring and headlining in Europe and Australia, and supporting acts such as Suede and the Manic Street Preachers. Her performance of ‘Tir ha Mor’ on Later with Jools Hollandwas a triumph, and the album prompted wider conversations on the state of the Cornish language with Michael Portillo, Jon Snow, and Nina Nannar. After Le Kov, interest in learning Cornish hit an all-time high, and the cultural role of the language was firmly in the spotlight.

    On Tresor, Gwenno shifts focus from the external to the internal, and onto the journey of rediscovering oneself after the life-changing experience of becoming a mother. It is an exploration of desire, of reclaiming one's body after childbirth, of working out how to exist as yourself as well as caring first and foremost for somebody else. Inspired by powerful woman writers and artists such as Ithell Colquhoun, the Cornish language poet Phoebe Proctor, Maya Deren and Monica Sjöö, Tresor is an intimate view of the feminine interior experience, of domesticity and desire, a rare glimmer of life lived in and expressed through Cornish. Tresor evokes the waters that shape the Cornish experience, whilst being musically far reaching with influences spanning from Ryuichi Sakamoto to Eden Ahbez and William Basinski. As psychedelically tinged as her previous work, Tresor embeds found sounds ranging from Venice to Vienna, layering cultural and historical atmospheres, decoupling the use of Cornish from any geographic determinism, allowing for an expression of imaginative spaces that are truly free.

    It recalls the waters of the unconscious, the undulating elemental tides suggesting emotion, intuition, those features long associated with the archetypal anima. In “Anima” Gwenno asks how do we fully inhabit different parts of the self, acknowledging convergent cultural and personal histories, embracing the shadow. She explores how the power of the feminine voice inspired by the Cornish landscape asserts itself in presenting a richly melodic counterpoint to a place and people known for rugged survival and jagged edges. The title track “Tresor” (Treasure) confronts the contradictions that come with visibility as a woman and the challenges of wielding women’s power. “Tonnow” (Waves) shows the watery depths of woman’s desire and knowing, an invitation to liberation. The Welsh language track, “NY.C.A.W.” (Nid yw Cymru ar Werth - Wales is not for Sale) widens the frame outward from the personal to the collective, condemning our neoliberalist thinking and our growing passiveness to late capitalism. The album also includes the track “Kan Me” (May Song), written for “Bait” director Mark Jenkin’s new film “Enys Men”, which is scheduled for release this summer.

    Tresor the film, is inspired by surrealist filmmakers such as Sergei Parajanov, Agnes Varda, and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and reflects Gwenno’s growing interest in film and the intersection of music with visual components. Filmed in Wales and Cornwall, Tresor evokes a dreamworld from another time, surreal, and sensual, saturated with light and colour.

    Although Tresor is a project birthed from introspection and intimacy, the implications of the messages are much broader. Ultimately Gwenno is asking what are other ways of understanding and being in relation to one's self and to one another? What are our roles in both shaping and being shaped by the cultures we move in, in a world that is ever changing, and where we all have a place? Tresor does not provide easy answers, for Gwenno shows us that we exist in paradox, our threads of place and story entwined like knotwork, our many selves shining as beautiful entanglements.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Gwenno's third album and second sung entirely in Cornish is her most mesmerising and hypnotic offering yet. Almost glacial and thoroughly other-worldly, this LP casts its magic spell from the first track to the last. It's so beautiful.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. An Stevel Nowydh
    2. Anima
    3. Tresor
    4. N.Y.C.A.W
    5. Men An Toll
    6. Ardamm
    7. Kan Me
    8. Keltek
    9. Tonnow
    10. Porth La

    Audiobooks

    Friends In The Bubble Bath - Inc. Gwenno / Gabe Gurnsey / David Wrench Remixes

      Audiobooks are pleased to share a remix bundle for their latest single, ‘Friends in the Bubble Bath’, out now via Heavenly Recordings. The release features two remixes by Gabe Gurnsey (Factory Floor) and one each from Welsh songstress Gwenno and Audiobooks’ own David Wrench.

      “I love audiobooks, and 'Friends in the Bubblebath' is brilliant,” Gwenno says. “I wanted to create a reflective atmosphere around Evangeline and David's lyrics, to try and compliment the story and that feeling of the party still trying to keep going at 3am, as parties tend to do.”

      “It was a real pleasure to be asked to remix Audiobooks’ as I’m a big fan of theirs,” Gurnsey adds. “I wanted to take all that energy they exude vocally and musically and bring it onto the dance floor. I ended up working on two remixes which work side by side, reflecting that chemistry David and Evangeline have in their live performances.”

      TRACK LISTING

      A1 Gwenno Remix
      A2 CBD Bath Oil Version
      B1 Gabe Gurnsey's Gamma Ray Remix
      B2 Gabe Gurnsey's Blubblebath Remix

      Written entirely in Cornish, Le Kov is exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall, and the survival of Britain’s lesser known Brythonic language. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno felt a duty to make her second album entirely in Cornish: to create a document of a living language, explore her identity and the endless creative possibilities of a tongue that has a very small surviving artistic output, despite having been around for at least 15 centuries.
      She dove deep into research, learning about attempts to protect and progress the language and the role of women throughout Cornish history. When Gwenno considered the legends of sunken Brythonic cities Cantre’r Gwaelod, Kêr-Is, Langarrow and Lyonesse, she knew she had her starting point. These cities evoked her idea of language as its own form of psychological territory, a concept perfectly distilled by the Cornish title for the album, Le Kov – the place of memory.

      But Le Kov isn’t really a concept album—the city doesn’t loom that large through these 10 songs, and you don’t need the translation sheet to appreciate the gorgeous, sea-warped psychedelia that Gwenno has created alongside long-term collaborator and producer Rhys Edwards. Evoking the music of her childhood – Brenda Wootton, Alan Stivell, BUCCA – along with Broadcast, The United States of America, White Noise and Serge Gainsbourg, Le Kov is shimmering and tarnished, rust mingled with barnacles, moss entwined with weathered rope. It’s a huge step up from her debut album, Y Dydd Olaf, featuring forlorn piano, crisp drums, and searching synth lines that seem to reach across the horizon. The sounds of the language are similarly gorgeous: “Dha wolow jy yw splann” (“your light is bright”), Gwenno marvels on Hi A Skoellyas Liv A Dhagrow (She Shed A Flood Of Tears).

      Sharp-eyed observers will note that that’s also a song from Aphex Twin’s 2001 album Drukqs. “I imagined Richard D. James coming across this ‘long lost Cornish 70s folk rock song’ on vinyl in a charity shop in the city of Le Kov, and stealing the title,” says Gwenno. It’s one of just two songs where she references the city directly. The next is Herdhya (Pushing), a hypnotic song “about the feeling of isolation after the Brexit vote, and realising that you’re stuck on an island—Britain—with perhaps many people who are trying to push society back to a regressive idea of the middle ages that has never existed, and imposing that on everyone else,” says Gwenno. By contrast, Le Kov is “dhyn ni oll” (for us all), a sanctuary city and analogue for the importance of understanding that diverse identities are the foundation of any place.
      There’s darkness on Le Kov, but beauty, too. Tir Ha Mor (Land And Sea) is a tribute to Peter Lanyon, the St. Ives school painter who learned to fly a glider plane in order to “get a more complete knowledge of the landscape” where he lived, and died after crashing his aircraft in August 1964. “Marghek an Gwyns was his Bardic name,” says Gwenno. “Rider of the Winds.”
      And Gwenno’s playful side shines through, too. Daromres Y’n Howl (Traffic In The Sun) is a low, groovy tribute to Cornwall’s clogged roads in the summertime, featuring Gruff Rhys rapping amid dissonant brass that evoke the angry horns of tourists on the A30. And Gwenno’s favourite song is Eus Keus? (Is There Cheese?). It comes from one of the oldest surviving Cornish phrases: “Is there cheese? Is there or isn’t there? If there’s cheese, bring cheese, and if there isn’t cheese, bring what there is!”

      Over the course of making Le Kov, Gwenno reconciled her anxiety over her right to make a Cornish-language pop record, and realised that, in the age of Brexit, isolationism and hostility towards the rich cultures that make modern Britain, it had a wider resonance, too. “This album is a combination of accepting the culture which your parents have valued enough to want to pass on to you, regardless how small, and utilising it in a positive way to try and make sense of the world around you, it’s also about having to accept and respect the nuances that make us all different and discovering that all of our stories share the same truth.”

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Never one to shy away from walking the roads-less-travelled when it comes to language use (being fluent in both Welsh and Cornish), Gwenno is flying the flag for regional language pride, as well as dominating players around the globe when she puts out a new one. 'Le Kov' is no different, perfectly produced and brilliantly enjoyable.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Hi A Skoellyas Liv A Dhagrow
      2. Tir Ha Mor
      3. Herdhya
      4. Eus Keus?
      5. Jynn-amontya
      6. Den Heb Taves
      7. Daromres Y'n Howl
      8. Aremorika
      9. Hunros
      10. Koweth Ker

      Gwenno

      Y Dydd Olaf

        In a period of governmental and cultural revolution, former Pipettes front-woman, Gwenno, releases a political concept album inspired by an obscure 1970s Welsh language sci-fi novel, subtly disguised as a blissful kraut-pop record.

        Taking its cue, and title, from Owain Owain’s 1976 novel about a dystopian future where the robots have taken over and are busily turning the human race into clones through the use of medication, 'Y Dydd Olaf' blends big themes (including patriarchal society, government-funded media propaganda, cultural control, technology, isolation and the importance of, and threat to minority languages), great tunes, and a real sense of revolution to produce a powerful, politically-charged concept album.

        'Y Dydd Olaf' is a political, feminist, brilliantly executed record; and although this particular revolution might not be televised, it certainly will have a great soundtrack.

        TRACK LISTING

        01. Chwyldro 5:18
        02. Patriarchaeth 3:29
        03. Calon Peiriant 5:08
        04. Sisial Y Môr 5:41
        05. Dawns Y Blaned Dirion 1:30
        06. Golau Arall 3:31
        07. Stwff 4:59
        08. Y Dydd Olaf 4:15
        09. Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki 4:39
        10. Amser 4:45


        Latest Pre-Sales

        173 NEW ITEMS

        NILE MARR OUTSTORE TONIGHT 🚨 The new album from @NileMarr is out today and to celebrate we’re hosting a launch par… https://t.co/KmHyZZnt4y
        Fri 3rd - 12:34
        Ace to have Arthur in yesterday 🐶 8 and a half months old! https://t.co/kH0YLtqX8p #dogfriendly #cockapoo https://t.co/PeS7ATtWGe
        Fri 3rd - 9:47
        Happy New Music Friday everyone! Plenty of great releases out to get stuck into. OPEN 10am - 6pm as usual today. S… https://t.co/lWzE7pf3uU
        Fri 3rd - 8:36
        E-newsletter —
        Sign up
        Back to top