In a period of governmental and cultural transition, former Pipettes front-woman, Gwenno Saunders, releases a political concept album inspired by an obscure 1970s Welsh language sci-fi novel, subtly disguised as a blissful kraut-pop record. Written by Gwenno and produced by Rhys Edwards, 'Y DYDD OLAF' ('The Last Day') is out on Heavenly Recordings.
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, great tunes, and a real sense of revolution to produce a powerful, politically-charged concept album. The album, which is sung entirely in Welsh, apart from one song in Cornish, is a political and feminist record, and a cultural document and celebration of what is unique about life in modern day Britain.
First with Peski Records, where a limited edition pressing of the album sold out in weeks, and now signed to Heavenly, she has found the perfect home for her brand of left-field electropop. And with the parallel world of 1980s underground Welsh-medium music by artists including Malcolm Neon, Llwybr Llaethog, Datblygu and Ectogram, not forgetting the German Krautrock movement of the 1970s, and early electronic music pioneers Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire inspiring her music, outlook and aspirations, 'Y DYDD OLAF' feels at once retro, contemporary and futuristic.
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Emotional Eternal feels like a natural evolution of the kind of music featured on Bon Voyage, which was already fantastic. I was excited for this album, and it absolutely lived up to my hype and expectations. Another wonderful release. MarikoRawralton