Pays : United Kingdom / Wales Label : Domino Genres et styles : Alternative / Folk Rock Année : 2024

Bill Ryder-Jones – Iechyd Da

· par Michel Labrecque

How can you not be surprised when a Welsh rock musician’s album begins with a sampling of Gal Costa, who sings Baby, one of the great hits of Brazilian tropicalism from 1969?

Bill Ryder-Jones likes surprises. This musician and producer, former member of the group The Coral, is constantly seeking to renew himself.

Iechyd Da, which means “good health” in Gaelic, is his first album in five years. Although he sings in English, this record breathes Wales, with allusions to the sea, its children’s choirs, and harmoniums which evoke fog and the mountains.

Billy Ryder-Jones is the Welsh answer to the Scottish King Creosote, which we recently reviewed. This opus is perfect to listen to in the Quebec winter. It’s intelligent alternative folk rock, with very little electronic instrumentation. There are lots of strings and piano, all of this very constructed, without improvised solos. With surprising samplings, not only from Brazil but also from 70s disco. These sounds are integrated into a musical framework totally different from their respective origins. Interesting producer work.

Billy Ryder-Jones does not hide the fact that he has experienced mental health problems and this is sometimes heard in his vocal delivery, sensitive, sometimes almost whispered. But for him, Iecyd Da is an album of hope, of resurrection. This is real British folk rock, the way we like it.

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