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Gwenno

Y Dydd Olaf

Heavenly

Oct 29, 2015 Gwenno Bookmark and Share


This ain’t your Granddaddy’s dystopia. The overt dread and gloominess of the apocalypse have become all too frequent, but the hallmarks of the popular sci-fi genre are all but absent on Welsh songstress Gwenno‘s debut LP Y Dydd Olaf. Instead, she scores her dystopic opus with neon bright synths, highly danceable beats, and galvanizing hooksespecially on the opening tracks “Chwyldro” and “Patriarchaeth”which, while sung in her native tongue, are nonetheless hummable for listeners of any language. (The album takes its name from one of her homeland’s acclaimed sci-fi novels about a man who thwarts brainwashing robots by communicating in Welsh.)

Even the album’s darker moments, like “Calon Peiriant,” still have a resilient tinge in Gwenno’s vocal delivery, making it sound less like a dystopic dirge than a heroic march against futuristic oppressors. The result: a spirited, hopeful album in the face of tomorrow’s apocalyptic onslaught. Think Katniss Everdeen rather than George Orwell.

This deft balance between the accessiblevia enthrallingly optimistic electronica-and the inaccessibledense sci-fi themes; some lyrics in Cornish, a language spoken on a remote U.K. isleis highly creative, and makes Y Dydd Olaf one of the most unique, curious, and downright fun albums of 2015. (www.gwenno.info)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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