When two welsh bands decide to get together and make an album you get Bendith’s self titled debut. Members of Colorama and Plu head to a tiny village that is very close to Carwyn Ellis’ heart. A lovingly crafted folk album about being home, and it is unabashedly twee, for all the right reasons. It’s nice when people “band” together, isn’t it?
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Bendith are made up of two bands. Slight correction, two Welsh bands: Colorama, and the harmonious trio of Elan, Marged and Gwilym Rhys of Plu, from Bethel. That cover design -- an unfolding panoramic view of verdure and village in watercolours -- gives the game away: gloriously pastoral and just slightly twee folksiness. Like a Welsh version of Ambrosia custard. Mmm, creamy and cold custard.
Carwyn Ellis harks back to reminiscences -- a childhood spent at his grandparents’ house, in the tiny picturesque village in the Dinas valley -- unabashedly heartwarming melodies abound throughout. Songs radiate calm from the heart and at the hearth, sung in Welsh. Musical, magical, Still Here Welsh. It’s a language I don’t understand by the way, and perhaps you don’t either; that’s just fine... Although all the credits are also in Welsh. Welsh: it sounds idyllic and lush. These songs are perfectly bittersweet and sound especially great at this time of the onset of Autumn. But I don’t *think* custard is seasonal.
On songs like the mournful ‘Y Gyfrinach’ and ‘Dan Glo’, vocals are accompanied by strings, but bare and vulnerable cello and sometimes violin with a piano; rather than anything approaching a string section. The stripped-back tunes of guitar and voice are utterly, beguilingly pretty.
For all its wistfulness and romanticisms though, it’s an album that underlines the relevance in the solace and comfort to be found in constancy. It’s a record about how damn good it feels to find yourself home, and to be at home with that feeling.
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