“A summery delight” 8/10 – Line of Best Fit
There’s no doubting that there’s a warmth to Huw M’s music and his new album, ‘Gathering Dusk’ is like answering the door to an old friend.
True, the word ‘lovely’ is overused. But from the fragile, ethereal ‘For while I wait for you to sleep’ to the lush texture of ‘Dyma lythyr’, ‘Gathering Dusk’ is a piece of pure loveliness, somewhere between Gorky’s delicate moments and Gruff Rhys’s sweet pop.
When performing live, Huw usually loops various sounds, so creating his own ‘band’. But here, like a house made of Lego, every musical brick is purposely placed, overlapping each other to create a magical arrangement. ‘Gathering Dusk’ is marginally different to his other album in that it is more of a collaboration between Huw and real live musicians; Angust West plays the French horn, and Lucy Simmonds on the cello (a member of the Mavron Quartet who featured on Gareth Bonello’s latest album) draws on her classical background. Frank Naughton (drums, bass guitar, percussion), Alun Bonello (drums) and Bethan Reynolds (vocals) also bring their influences to the table, and between them, cook up a feast.
Huw M sings of real, first hand experiences; nothing flowery and pretentious and to accompany each song, the designer Aled ‘Arth’ Cummins has created a booklet with an image for each one.
“The ideas for ‘Gathering Dusk’ have been developing since I released my first album ‘Os Mewn Sŵn’. Some ideas have been growing slowly, others disappeared and then reappeared, some that I couldn’t stand were thrown away for good, and some that have developed into bigger and better songs with the help of other musicians.”
There are strains of the vast Welsh folk tradition to be heard in ‘Gathering Dusk’, but Huw M gives it a bright new coat of paint. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.
About Huw M
Stuart Maconie on 6Music referred to Huw M’s first joint single with artist Llwyd as “gorgeous” and a “stunningly beautiful piece of music”. Huw’s début album, described as “an infectious, irresistible slice of pop loveliness”, received glowing reviews including a 4-star write-up in The Times. And in November 2011 the Gwymon label released Huw M’s second album, ‘Gathering Dusk’, with a full UK release on 30th July 2012.
Huw M is Pontypridd based composer and performer Huw Meredydd, originally from Bangor in north Wales. He plays a mix of original melodies, a few borrowed Welsh folk songs, mangled together with influences from across the globe, to create what The Line of Best Fit referred to as “some of the most beautiful Welsh-inspired folk music to come from across the Severn since Meic Stevens.”
To date, Huw M has played in festivals such as End of the Road, the SWN Festival in Cardiff and Camden Crawl and has made numerous appearances on radio and television (including Radio 1 and 6Music). He has won various music awards in Wales, including Best Solo Artist and Best Composer. In August 2012, in the FT.com’s guide to new Welsh indie music, Huw M was chosen as one of its six best acts.
Huw is joined live by Lucy Simmonds on the cello and Bethan Mai on vocals, accordion, and various other wonderful instruments.