28 July 2010

Y Niwl

Festivals are good fun for many reasons. They provide you with places to drink mere stumbling distance from places to sleep, they collate some of your favourite bands and allow you to see loads of them in the space of six hours, and, probably my favourite part, they introduce you to bands which you have not heard before.

Indeed, this is how I came across North Wales-based Y Niwl (which translates to "the mist", I think). They played one of the best, if not the best, sets at Latitude this year and it was a real joy to watch their instrumental surf rock; so chilled out and smile-inducing.

I wrote a few words about them and Latitude as a whole on this blog not long back, and the band contacted me the same day with a link to download their upcoming album. I was a little apprehensive that their songs wouldn't have quite the same effect as they did listening to them in the sunshine with a beer in hand. I needn't have worried, though, as it's a really strong and really enjoyable release - listening to it, you'll struggle not to sway to the surf-styled guitar twangs, and the tempo changes are super enjoyable. "Ten tracks of instrumental surf rock, surely it gets a little samey?" Somehow it doesn't. Two guitarists allows for some good to-ing and fro-ing, and some 60s styled keys brings a different sound and feel to tracks, like on "Deg" where it takes over the lead role - the vocal role, almost - from the guitar. Some tracks sway in the wind whereas others have a real driving forwards feel. I could imagine it on Sega Mega Drive's Road Rash, for sure.

Unfortunately for you, their debut album isn't released until November. You can find info about their debut EP, released earlier this year, from their MySpace page, though, or you can read a little about it at The Joy Collective. You can also catch one of their songs on an upcoming Wichita compilation. Or just listen to a stream of the great "Undegpedwar" below.

Y Niwl - Undegpedwar

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