Some of Our Favourite Welsh Musicians
Why Welsh Music?
Listening to Welsh music, especially in the Welsh language can give a great sense of belonging to many Welsh people, but also in keeping the culture and heritage alive and putting Wales on the map, there is so much pleasure to have in supporting local artists and economies and pushing them worldwide.
As festival season is upon us, we wanted to delve into to the world of Welsh music and share some of our favourite artists. There's a lot more to Wales' music scene than Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey (as much as we love them). Whether you're an avid Welsh speaker or looking to add something different to your music library, here are some of our faves.
Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog
Formed in 2006, the band comprises of members Iwan, Aled and Dafydd Hughes who all grew up between the villages of Botwnnog and Llaniestyn. With their intricate melodies, poetic lyrics, and lush harmonies, Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog has gained recognition for their ability to create a captivating and ethereal atmosphere in their music. Seamlessly blending traditional Welsh folk instruments such as the harp and fiddle with modern guitar riffs and drum beats, their sound is both refreshing and rooted in tradition.
Our Fave - Dwi'n 'nabod y ffordd at harbwr
This enchanting tune takes listeners on a captivating journey through the picturesque landscapes of rural Wales, drawing them towards the allure of the harbour. They create a soothing and evocative atmosphere that transports listeners to a place of tranquility and nostalgia.
Best Known For - Celwydd Golau Ydi Cariad
This track showcases the band's ability to blend emotive storytelling with their signature folk sound. The lyrics delve into the complexities of love and relationships, exploring the theme of deception and the light that shines through even in the darkest moments.
Ani Glass is the persona of Cardiff-based electronic pop musician, producer and artist, Ani Saunders. Ani Glass sings in her native languages Welsh and Cornish and in March 2020 released her self-produced debut album Mirores. As well as receiving glowing reviews, the album was awarded Welsh Album of the Year and shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize.
Our Fave- Mirores
A mesmerizing masterpiece that transports listeners to a realm of introspection and reflection. With its transcendent melodies, pulsating electronic beats, and Ani's hauntingly beautiful vocals, the song creates an immersive experience that is both introspective and uplifting. Mirores is a captivating blend of synth-pop and introspective lyricism.
Honourable Mention - Ynys Araul
Ynys Araul invites listeners to embark on a metaphorical journey to a tranquil island, a haven where one can escape the noise and distractions of everyday life. Ani's ethereal vocals and the song's introspective melodies intertwine to create a contemplative experience that encourages self-reflection and a search for serenity amidst the chaos.
Dafydd Iwan was one of the first successful musicians to come out of the Welsh rock scene. Although he claims, "There are no stars in Wales", citing small audiences and minimal financial rewards. Iwan's biggest hit, "Yma O'Hyd (Still Here)," released in 1981, has become an anthem in his homeland. His hit song has had another boom in Wales, the use of his song Yma o Hyd as a song for the Welsh football team during the World Cup and for the again growing cause for Welsh independence.
Our Fave and best known - Yma O Hyd
This song is full of emotion and pride, narrating our culture and identity as a nation, as a Welsh native, when you hear this song you feel it in your bones.
Hounourable Mention - Carlo
This is a satirical song poking fun at Prince Charles who’s title is ‘Prince of Wales’, yet there is nothing Welsh about him… The song conveys this well. Originally, this song was a protest against the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969. “Carlo” is a nickname given to Charles. The English translation of 'Carlo’ would be 'Charlie’.
Gwenno, an enchanting music artist, captivates listeners with her ethereal vocals and mesmerizing synth-pop melodies, creating a journey that transcends boundaries and embraces the soul
Our fave- Tir Ha mor
Tir Ha mor by Gwenno is a mesmerizing musical voyage that blends celestial vocals with hypnotic beats, transporting listeners to a world where land and sea intertwine. Its enchanting melodies and poetic lyrics evoke a sense of longing and a deep connection to nature, creating a captivating experience that lingers in the heart and mind.
One of her most recent works -Tresor
Tresor" by Gwenno is a captivating musical gem that radiates with shimmering beauty. With its dreamy synths, pulsating rhythms, and transcendent vocals, the track takes listeners on an otherworldly journey.
Thallo is the alias of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Elin Edwards, based between London and Wales. With lyrics in both Welsh and English, her sound takes influence from archaic lore and personal experience, painting captivating canvases of intricate arrangements via a unique fusion of jazz, folk and electronic.
Our Fave (and most popular) - Pluo
This captivating song showcases Thallo's unique blend of ethereal vocals, lush melodies, and intricate layers of instrumentation. Her meticulous attention to detail is evident in the seamless fusion of electronic and organic elements.
Honourable Mention- Carry Me
Carry Me delves into themes of vulnerability, resilience, and the search for solace in challenging times. The song unfolds with a delicate and introspective melody, gradually building into a soaring and cathartic chorus
Mary Hopkin was born on May 3rd, 1950, in Ystradgynlais, South Wales.
Alongside playing solo gigs and with her band around the local clubs, Mary released an album of Welsh language songs on a label called Cambrian, before signing to the Beatles' Apple Records. She represented the United Kingdom in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest singing 'Knock Knock, Who's There?', coming second in the competition.
Our fave (and best known for)- Those were the days
Those Were the Days" is a timeless and nostalgic song performed by the Welsh singer Mary Hopkin. Released in 1968, this iconic track encapsulates the sentimentality and yearning for the past. Hopkin's delicate yet powerful vocals draw listeners in, weaving a tale of reminiscence and wistfulness.
Honourable Mention - Aderyn Llwyd
Translated as "Grey Bird," the song metaphorically explores themes of loss, longing, and the transient nature of life. The lyrics poetically describe the grey bird flying away, symbolising the passing of time and the inevitability of change. She explained that it was 'a Welsh love song about a little bird who carried messages of love, and all the children giggled, bless them'.
HMS Morris are an art-rock group from Wales. They’ve been touring and recording since 2015, and are supported by the Cardiff-based Bubblewrap Collective. Their 2 full-length albums to date (2016’s ‘Interior Design’ and 2018’s ‘Inspirational Talks’) both earned nominations for the Welsh Music Prize, and were variously described as ‘Innovative, forward thinking pop music’ (Earthly Pleasures), ‘strange and beautiful music’ (Electronic Sound) and a 'multi-dimensional sound that traipses across hitherto unexplored regions of sound' (Clash)’
Our Personal Fave - Corff
This song showcases the band's unique approach to music, blending elements of dream pop, psychedelia, and electronic beats. With hypnotic synths, pulsating rhythms, and captivating vocals.
One of their most recent works - Family Souls
This captivating tune takes listeners on a sonic journey through dreamy, kaleidoscopic landscapes, inviting them to delve into the depths of their own emotions
In her own words Mali Hâf is made from magical Welsh dragon blood, sings like a Celtic warrior and moves like a powerful Witch. She has to sing, write and perform because she might explode if she doesn't due to her colourful head and visions can overwhelm her, so she needs it to help her make sense of all the suffering in the world....So she welcomes you to the present, by sounding current, with her electronic, pop and Alt RnB sound whilst keeping the past alive with her folky Welsh mystical roots.
Our Fave - Dawnsio yn y Bore
'Dancing in the Morning', Mali Haf's soulful vocals, backed by an uplifting blend of folk and pop melodies, create an irresistible and uplifting atmosphere, perfect for your morning commute.
Honourable Mention - Pili Pala's Prayer
Mali Hâf's deliicate yet haunting voice, accompanied by gentle acoustic guitar and atmospheric instrumentation, creates a mesmerising landscape that transports listeners into a world of introspection and vulnerability with lyrics which delve into themes of longing, hope, and the search for inner peace
'The brain-child of West Wales native Owen Shiers, this Cynefin is a musical mapping project which traces a line from the past to the present – starting in the Clettwr Valley where he was raised. The result of three years research and work, the project’s aim is to uncover lost voices, melodies and stories as it goes and give a modern voice to Ceredigion’s rich yet fragile cultural heritage – presenting forgotten and neglected material in a fresh new light.'
Our Fave - Dole Teifi/Lliw'r Heulwen
This song is a beauty from beginning to end, it brings together two songs from Ceredigion on the theme of love and deceit. The song begins with a gentle and melodic acoustic guitar, setting a serene and introspective tone. As the song progresses, other instruments gradually join in, such as the harp, fiddle, and flute, adding layers of texture and enhancing the overall ambiance.
Honourable Mention - Myn Mair
An introverted, sad and poignant song which is sung by a mourner. The mourner offers everything – money, candles and prayers – in order to save the soul of their friend / lover. The song incorporates various traditional Welsh instruments, such as the harp, fiddle, and acoustic guitar, which provide a foundation for the melody. These instruments create a warm and melodic backdrop.
Eädyth is fast becoming a household name to listeners of BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru due to her unique electro soul sound and bilingual lyricism. Fans of Solange and Jill Scott will reveal in the warmth of Eädyth's soulful, soaring vocals, whilst fans of Massive Attack and Burial will enjoy the combination of fractured beats with melancholic and powerful production
Our Fave - Tyfu
Tyfu by Eadyth is a heartfelt musical composition that delves into the themes of growth, resilience, and personal transformation. Through emotive lyrics and delicate melodies, the song narrates a journey of overcoming obstacles, embracing change, and finding strength in the process.
Honourable Mention - Cymru Ni
Cymru Ni is a powerful anthem that encapsulates the spirit and pride of the Welsh people. Sung with passion and conviction, the song celebrates the rich cultural heritage, resilience, and unity of Wales. Its rousing melodies and heartfelt lyrics evoke a sense of belonging and collective identity, instilling a sense of patriotism and love for the nation.
'Formed of sibling trio - Elan, Marged and Gwilym Rhys from Snowdonia, North Wales in the Summer of 2012, Plu (meaning 'feathers' in Welsh) play alternative Welsh language pop-folk, with close 3 part harmonies a back-bone to their varied set'
Our personal fave - Tra bo dau
They put their own twist to this cover of the traditional love song, which plays like a gentle lullaby and blends seamlessly into a soft folk playlist
One of their most recent works - Storm dros Ben y Fal
In this song they are singing of a mountain called Pen y Fal in the Black Mountains of Abergavenny and how the mountain is drawing them closer and closer
'Adwaith are Gwenllian, Hollie, Heledd and Gillie, a post- punk band from Carmarthen, South West Wales. Building on the success of ‘Pwysau’ their debut single they issued another six releases within an adrenalin fuelled two years. The band has had extensive radio plays, most noticeably on BBC Radio 1, KEXP, NPR, BBC Radio 6 (playlisted twice), BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru Amazing Radio and more.'
Our Fave- Eto
Eto delves into the theme of longing and the complex emotions that come with it. The song explores the desire for connection.
'Influenced by the Siberian and Mongolian wilderness, as open and vast as the limitless sky around them, ‘ETO’ perfectly captures the trio’s growing confidence with its open-hearted soaring melody’s and lyrical vulnerability. -Repeat Fanzine
Their most known- Fel i Fod
Through introspective lyrics and poignant melodies, Adwaith explores the struggles of navigating societal expectations and finding the courage to be true to oneself. "Fel i Fod" is a powerful anthem that encourages listeners to embrace their uniqueness and find strength in their vulnerabilities.
Aaaand that was our round up of our favourite Welsh artists, leave a comment below if you have any other recommendations, we would love to make another post in the near future.