Album: Cerys Matthews

Awyren = Aeroplane (My Kung Fu)
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The Independent Culture

Matthews' first release for Cardiff-based indie My Kung Fu is her first entirely Welsh-language record, a mini-album that, taken with her upcoming Cymru-only tour, presages her permanent return to the land of her fathers after a few years in Nashville. For English ears, the lack of any translation bar the title makes Awyren = Aeroplane in effect a world music release, with Matthews' voice serving as an instrument.

Its once strident tone might have made that hard work, but maturity has mellowed it to a timbre suspended somewhere between soothing lullaby and sensuous seduction on the opening "Awyrennau", where it's backlit by organ and strummed acoustic guitar, with wisps of electric guitar. The folk song "Lisa Lan" is updated in the manner of Sinead O'Connor's treatment of traditional Irish airs, a misty whirl of strings, vibes and guitar, while "Y Corryn Ar Pry", with its gusty harmonica, dub effects and Matthews' multitracked harmonies, recalls Sparklehorse's " Knives of Summertime", before "Trwy'r Drych" heads into darker, more reflective waters. Mellifluous and mysterious in equal parts.

Download this: 'Awyrennau', 'Lisa Lan','Y Corryn Ar Pry'

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