With her second album Le Kov now out via Heavenly Recordings, Gwenno has today shared an artfully shot video for ‘Eus Keus?’, the second single to be released from the album.
Written entirely in Cornish, Le Kov is exploration of the individual and collective subconscious, the myths and drolls of Cornwall, and the survival of Britain’s lesser known Brythonic language. As one of the language’s few fluent speakers, Gwenno felt a duty to make her second album entirely in Cornish: to create a document of a living language, explore her identity and the endless creative possibilities of a tongue that has a very small surviving artistic output, despite having been around for at least 15 centuries. Fascinating as that all is, ‘Eus Keus’ translates to “Is there cheese?” which instantly makes one take it a little less seriously.
And it’s Gwenno’s favourite song. ‘Eus Keus?’ comes from one of the oldest surviving Cornish phrases: “Is there cheese? Is there or isn’t there? If there’s cheese, bring cheese, and if there isn’t cheese, bring what there is!”.
‘Daromres Y’n Howl (Traffic In The Sun)’ is a low, groovy tribute to Cornwall’s clogged roads in the summertime, featuring Gruff Rhys rapping amid dissonant brass that evoke the angry horns of tourists on the A30. At this point as a listener I’m genuinely bewlidered by the narrative, even though musically Gwenno explores some interesting sounds like a pagan Grimes.
You can hear it for yourself as she’s streaming it now.