After retiring, or at least withdrawing from the edges of the mainstream, first as a professional dancer and then as lead singer of the brilliant Pipettes, Gwenno found herself back in her home city of Cardiff. Ignoring the industry that she had previously served, she instead ploughed her own furrow, writing a new political concept album, Y DYDD OLAF (The Last Day), based on a Owain Owain’s 1976 Sci-Fi novel about a Welsh dystopian future where robots have taken over and are busily turning the human race into clones by way of medications.
Gwenno has used this framework to write about themes such as including patriarchal society, government-funded media propaganda, cultural control, technology, isolation and the importance of, and threat to minority languages, and wrap them all up in memorable melodies and synthy, kraut-pop vibes.
The album, which is sung entirely in Welsh, apart from one song in Cornish, was released on Peski Records but it sold out of its limited pressing in weeks, and Gwenno has now been signed by Heavenly Recordings, and is out 24th July. Ahead of its second release, Gwenno has released a stream for Patriarchaeth. It opens with stumbling, eerie synth chords, before it opens out into this rather lovely slice of anxious sounding synth pop, or kraut pop if you will. It bubbles away, underpinned by these slow moving chords, and this cascading glitter over the tops, but its this clumpy, yet funky bassline that really catches the ear, as Gwennos vocal sits proudly over the top, soft and smoothly delivering the knockout melodic blow.
No excuses, you need this in your life.