Words by Tim Cumming
On her debut album, Aberystwyth-born Georgia Ruth plays harp, piano, reed organ and bells, and her band features multiple guitars, vibraphones and touches of percussion from brothers Iwan, Aled and Dafydd Hughes. The opening song, ‘Week of Pines’, begins with the motorik beat and what sounds like the analogue synths you hear in Neu’s ‘HalloGallo’. It’s a surging, wheeling set of drones artfully arranged from swathes of reed organ and vibraphone, and eases into a beautifully played and sung version of an epic traditional Welsh shanty, ‘Codi Angor’.
She has a soft and beautifully expressive voice, and writes interesting lyrics: ‘I’ve got your name carved in my tongue every time I go to speak,’ she intones at the end of ‘Mapping’, a song drawn from a broken love affair. The Welsh-language ‘Hallt’ is arranged for solo voice and harp, while ‘Dovecote’, like many of the slower songs here, stands out on the emotional strength of her vocals. Like fellow Welsh act 9Bach’s fusion of folk and indie, Week of Pines accommodates the mix of an abstract, ambient approach with the mores of traditional folk. It’s distinctive from anything you’ll hear from young artists working today in the English, Scottish or Irish tradition.
TRACK TO TRY: Codi Angor