Cerys Matthews - Awyren = Aeroplane

Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews' first all-Welsh release is a delightful five-song collection.
My Kung Fu: 15 October 2007

Last updated: 02 January 2009

Awyren cover

Tracklisting

  • Awyrennau
  • Y Corryn Ar Pry'
  • Trwy'r Drych
  • Lisa Lân
  • = Aeroplane

A world away from the blockbuster pop of Catatonia, and a step forward from her more recent solo releases, Cerys Matthews' first all-Welsh release is a delightful five-song collection, recorded in Nashville just ahead of her recent move back to Wales.

Beginning with the dreamy Awyrennau, a light bossa nova with echoes of The Girl From Ipanema, the EP proves that Cerys' biggest strength was always her songwriting, and the past flirtations with celebrity, drugs and inter-band relationships were never more than yawnsome distractions.

While Y Cyrryn Ar Pry' and the closing reprise of the title track are featherlight and gentle, Trwy'r Drych's harshly-strummed acoustic guitars and eerily building strings take Cerys towards Nick Drake territory, and her interpretation of traditional song Lisa Lân is dark and brooding.

And then there's her voice. While the songs on Catatonia's earliest Crai EPs were notable for the purity of her vocals, as the band's popularity grew her singing became ever raspier to the point of self-parody. Here, she sings with clarity, grace and emotion, without once resorting to larynx-shredding excesses, and the songs are infinitely better for it.

Words: Joe Goodden


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