Brigyn Review: Daily Post

Brothers Ynyr and Eurig Roberts are the driving force behind Epitaff, the Llanrug-based rock group who have been playing gigs and releasing records for the last few years.

After the release of Angel, Epitaff's last album, they decided to form a project as a duo under the name Brigyn (which translates, strangely enough, as Twig.)

Their eponymous debut album is 11 track long and was released in late autumn on Waunfawr label Gwynfryn Cymunedol. Its sound is that of two artists breaking free of creative shackles both figuratively and literally - the guitar-based music is ditched in favour of well-crafted rhythm loops and orchestral samples.

The craftsmanship and attention to detail that the twosome brought to their output in Epitaff is very much in evidence here, but Brigyn takes its cues from a completely different set of reference points.

The brothers admit to being influenced by music as varied as Björk, Lemon Jelly and classical composer Smetana, and while the occasionally dissonant sound of the Icelandic singer is avoided, the lush, expansive arrangements and intensive use of instruments is striking.

On Os na wnei di adael nawr (If you wont leave now), for example, harp samples and synthetic drum loops are fused effortlessly during the melancholic verses, before soaring string section bursts out of the speakers on the chorus that invites comparisons with early Massive Attack or Homogenic-era Björk.

But more than that, the lyrics reveal an intellectual and emotional depth few Welsh artists can match, and Ynyr sing them with poise and surety.
Bohemia Bach (Little Bohemia) is a case in point. it is an adroit song that bemoans the pompous nature of those intellectuals who form arty cliques, while reminding us that such dreamers are actually a necessity in a world as besieged with problems as our own.

A more playful side is also evident on Sonar, the first of two instrumental tracks that puts on very firmly in mind of Lemon Jelly with its bright guitar chords and general arrangement.

Abacus is more sober, yet there is enough to hold the listener in the way of clever key changes, samples, bassy-to-tinny EQ sweeps and so forth to make it an entertaining track.

The penultimate track, Disgyn wrth dy draed (Falling At Your Feet), sees this rich mixture stripped back to piano and violin for a poignant song of lost love and forgiveness. Lleisiau yn y Gwynt (Voices in the wind) provides an uplifting end to a debut remarkably free of filler.

With this sort of ability and creative verve, it seems ridiculous to think that the music press in general have to date almost completely ignored this album.
Hopefully that will soon change and, in the months to come, I will be able to write that the powers that be in Welsh music industry have twigged - pun absolutely intended - to Brigyn.

Craig Owen Jones


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