REVIEW // Gwenno – Le Kov (Heavenly Recordings)

This article originally appeared in The Skinny

On her solo debut Y Dydd Olaf, Gwenno Saunders explored the importance of preserving a sense of cultural identity almost entirely in Welsh. Closing track Amser, though, was sung in Cornish. It’s this thread that Gwenno picks up again on her new album Le Kov, journeying through both the individual and collective subconscious entirely in the Cornish language.

Much like Y Dydd Olaf, Gwenno’s often languid vocal style ensures the language is delivered beautifully, both tuneful and entrancing, continuing to ensure that her music is accessible to the non-Cornish speaker. On the sparkling pop of Tir Ha Mor, her voice and the seemingly intuitively musical nature of the words give the album one of its strongest hooks. She draws inspiration from Aphex Twin’s Drukqs on Hy a Skoellyas Lyf a Dhagrow, delivering a dream-like landscape alongside her hushed vocals. Eus Keus? (or “is there cheese?”) is more playful, building on propulsive melodies and continually reintroducing warped guitar around Gwenno’s own more exuberant voice.

Le Kov is a cinematic and atmospheric collection, crisply produced while also maintaining a sense of mystery. Its cosmic blend of psychedelia and strong synth-pop sensibilities once again bring the listener firmly into Gwenno’s psychological territory. She places another Brythonic tongue firmly in the spotlight, continuing to break through language barriers with sparkling psych-pop.

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