Following the huge acclaim of their 2014 award-winning album ‘Tincian’ – which saw them win ‘Best Album’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (the first Welsh act to win an award in the competition’s 15-year history – 9Bach will release their new album ‘Anian’ on April 29th.
Like its predecessor, ‘Anian’ begins in North Wales but broadens out through Greek and Near Eastern influences into an emotional tour de force. While ‘Tincian’ commemorated stories from the past, ‘Anian’ explores more contemporary themes. Angry, sad, but most of all passionate at the state of the world, ‘Anian’ taps into a universal language. The trademark ethereal Welsh language vocals shimmer alongside swamp guitar, harp, brooding dub beats and a pounding rhythm section. The eleven songs move from the gently rolling rhythms of ‘Llyn Du’ to the piano settings of ‘Ifan’ and ‘Deryn’, the layered voices of ‘Brain’ and ‘Si Hwi Hwi’ to the full band Near Eastern climax of ‘Cyfaddefa’.
‘Anian’ was recorded in Real World Studios by Lisa Jên (vocals, piano), Martin Hoyland (guitars, hammer dulcimer), Ali Byworth (drums & percussion), Dan Swain (electric bass guitar & double bass), Esyllt Glyn Jones (harp, vocals), and Mirain Roberts (piano, vocals, hammer dulcimer). Recording live in the studio – with just a touch of overdubbing – the musicians were able to respond to each other emotionally, to react to the anger and sadness in some of the songs, the band responding to the vocals, and vice versa.
‘Anian’ will be available on digital download, CD and vinyl. The CD version includes an extra disc of vocal re-interpretations: ‘Yn Dy Lais/In Your Voice’. It features writers, actors, poets and singers – Peter Gabriel, Maxine Peake and Rhys Ifans among them – giving their own interpretations of the songs as a way to convey the meaning to a non-Welsh speaking language. Lisa explained what each song was about and the writers were asked to retell the story using the emotion, sentiment, themes, and, sometimes, parts of the original story.