Gruff Rhys - Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, track by track

Gruff Rhys

Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys talks about his first solo album Yr Atal Genhedlaeth.

Last updated: 25 November 2008

Yr Atal Genhedlaeth (The Stuttering Generation)
"The title is a play on words that doesn't really translate. Contraception in Welsh is 'atal-genhedlaeth'; it literally means, 'stop the next generation'. By adding 'the' it becomes 'the stopped generation', but 'atal' also means stuttering, so it becomes 'the stuttering generation'. So it's quite a vicious title, to define a generation. It's also just a dirty pun."

Gwn Mi Wn (Yes I Know)
"It's a bit of a long story. It literally means, 'yes I know'. It's also a play on words; extended. It's about this MC called Glyn Kysgod Angau, which means The Valley Of Death, and his mate called D Chwaeth (Ob Scene). So it's kind of biblical. It's a track about these two fictional MCs who have a battle with bows and arrows that shoot words, and they pour beer on their cornflakes in the morning. It's just bragging really."

"Epynt is a mountain in Mid Wales. It's also about the battle between the Euro (the E in Epynt) and the pound (pynt in Welsh). The conclusion is that it's better to get rid of money altogether."

Rhagluniaeth Ysgafn (May My Destiny Be Light)
"Another play on words - the title literally means 'may my destiny be light', but because of the nature of the Welsh language, 'lluniaeth ysgafn' also means 'light snack'. So this could also mean 'may my destiny be easily digested', or 'may my precooked destiny be lite'. I'm singing this at the gates of heaven, confessing all of my sins. It's a pisstake, obviously. I'm an atheist, but it's a song so there are elements of my life in it. I'm saying, 'whatever your decision, I'm cool with, but if it's punishment, please make it a light snack'."

It's a song I've been trying to get out of my system for about 10 years.

Gruff Rhys

Pwdin Ŵy 1 (Egg Pudding 1)
Pwdin Ŵy 2 (Egg Pudding 2)
"This means 'egg pudding', one and two. The first song is about falling in love with a woman called Egg Pudding, and the lust at the beginning of a relationship. The second song is about the relationship falling apart, and Egg Pudding has caught a really bad disease and she's dying, and we're miles apart, and it's a tragic ending after a euphoric beginning. It's a song I've been trying to get out of my system for about 10 years."

Y Gwybodusion (Experts)
"This means 'pundits' or 'experts'. 'Where are the experts?' it's asking. 'Looking for answers' is the reply."

Caerffosiaeth (Sewage City)
"A tale of a fictional city, Caerffosiaeth is based on various cities in Wales. I get through a lot of moans that I've got about living in Wales in 2005, but also some of the good bits. There's nothing like having a good moan."

Ambell Waith (Remembering)
"This is about leaving Sewage City and going out on tour. It's about nostalgia and the occasional longing for home, but not a lot! It's about waking up in a different country every day. It's biographical: everything is, to a certain extent, but it's one of the most straight up songs. And it's got loads of car noises on it - provided by a £25 synth I bought from a garage on the A55."

Ni Yw Y Byd (We Are The World)
"This is like We Are The World or I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, except a skewed version of that with a different world view, with lines like "Let's confuse our contemporaries, because we are the world", and "Let's prepare for revolution, because we are the world". Totally ridiculous, with a melody to try and explode people's heads, and get people dancing. It's a euphoric song to dance to - to celebrate the person you're with at the time."

Chwarea'n Troi'n Chwerw (When Play Turn Sour)
"It's a cathartic exercise to cover a song that haunted me through my childhood, changing the odd word here and there, to make it sound a bit more psychopathic. It literally means 'when play turns sour' - it's a Welsh proverb. 'Play turns sour, when you're playing with fire.' The song is about when lying becomes easier than telling the truth - to contradict the euphoria of Ni Yw Y Byd. There's enough soft pop out there - we don't need any more!"

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