Gruff Rhys Shares Video for New Song “Bad Friend” and Announces New U.S. Tour Dates | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Gruff Rhys Shares Video for New Song “Bad Friend” and Announces New U.S. Tour Dates

Sadness Sets Me Free Due Out January 26 via Rough Trade

Jan 15, 2024 Photography by Mark James Bookmark and Share


Gruff Rhys, Welsh frontman of Super Furry Animals, is releasing a new solo album, Sadness Sets Me Free, on January 26 via Rough Trade. Now he has shared its third single, “Bad Friend,” via a music video. He’s also announced some new U.S. tour dates, including SXSW. Mark James directed the video. Watch it below, followed by Rhys’ upcoming tour dates.

Rhys had this to say about the song in a press release: “People always refer to ‘good friends’. This song is toying with the idea of the ‘bad friend’. Maybe a bad friend is still better than not being a friend at all. Some friends function better than others, but they’re not enemies. Within the structures of 21st-century life, the pressure on people’s time—and what we are expected to be able to perform in daily life—is so kaleidoscopic. If I could shorten the sentiments to one line, it would be ‘all in good time.’ It’s me reaching out to friends through song because maybe I haven’t had the chance to go to their house or talk to them on the phone.”

(Note: This song actually came out last week, but we missed it and are thus posting about it now.)

Previously Rhys shared the album’s first single, “Celestial Candyfloss,” via a music video. “Celestial Candyfloss” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then he shared its second single, the horn-backed “Silver Lining Lead Balloons” (which was again one of our Songs of the Week).

Rhys’ backing band on the album features Osian Gwynedd (piano), Huw V Williams (double bass), and former Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock (drums). Sadness Sets Me Free was recorded at La Frette Studios, a studio on the outskirts of Paris in a 19th-century house. The initial recordings were done in only three days. Kate Stables from This is the Kit contributed backing vocals (Rhys produced This is the Kit’s latest album, Careful of Your Keepers, which came out in June). Sadness Sets Me Free is the 25th album Rhys has released, taking into account Super Furry Animals, his solo work, and various side-projects.

“At this point I quite like working with serendipity,” he says. “Not in a cosmic way, [but] I try and leave things open to chance encounters and chance geography. As I’m around 25 albums in I’m always looking for ways to make a different-sounding record.”

Back in February, Rhys released the soundtrack for the film The Almond and the Seahorse via Rough Trade. His last regular solo album was 2021’s Seeking New Gods. It was one of our Top 100 Albums of the 2021. In 2022 he also shared the new songs “People Are Pissed” and “Arogldarth.” “People Are Pissed” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our 2015 interview with Gruff Rhys.

Gruff Rhys Tour Dates:

February 2nd – Aberystwyth, Arts Centre
February 7th - London, Kings Place (Sold Out)
February 8th - London, Kings Place
February 10th - Manchester, New Century Hall (Sold Out)
February 14th - Belfast, Empire Music Hall
February 15th - Dublin, Sugar Club (Sold Out)
February 16th - Dublin, Sugar Club
February 17th - Liverpool, Hanger 34
February 19th - Glasgow, St Lukes
February 22nd - Bristol, Strange Brew (Sold Out)
February 23rd - Bristol, Strange Brew (Sold Out)
February 24th - Narberth, Queens Hall.
February 28th - Berlin, Badehaus
February 29th - Hamburg, Nachtasyl
March 2nd - Koln, Theater De Wogngemeinschaft
March 3rd - Amsterdam, Zonzij
March 5th– Paris, Solaris
March 8th - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
March 9th - Washington, DC @ DC9
March 10th - Raleigh, NC @ Kings
March 11th - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
March 13th - Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 14th - Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 15th - Austin, TX @ SXSW
March 18th - Phoenix, AZ @ Dirty Drummer
March 19th - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
March 20th - Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
March 23rd - Sacramento, CA @ Starlet Room
March 24th - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
March 26th - Portland, OR @ Mission Theatre
March 27th - Seattle, WA @ Barboza

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