Review: Daily Post
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
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
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.
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