Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18Banana & Louie
Released: 23rd July 2019
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You might know CARWYN ELLIS from other projects like COLORAMA (part of the most heterogeneous and open-minded pop made in the UK this century), Bendith (Welsh dreamy folk) or Zarelli (hauntologic electronic). Or maybe you might be familiar with him because he collaborates with pop superstars and universal references like Edwyn Collins, Pretenders, Oasis or Saint Etienne. Or maybe you don’t know him at all, so far, because Ellis is one of those musicians that does not feel self-important, that is not under the spotlight but that is praised by other musicians and everyone wants to collaborate with. “Joia!”, in which he presents his new band Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, is a non-explicit plea against Brexit. Against any Brexits taking place right now any way or another in this world shocked by the continuous transformations and fears that they lead to.
Carwyn has spent much of the last two years touring the world as a sideman with the Pretenders, and it was Chrissie Hynde herself who noticed how many records he was buying while on tour in South America in early 2018 and suggested he make a Latin-flavoured Welsh language album.“I've been a big fan of Brazilian music for many years now, having been introduced to the music of Joao Gilberto initially, and then via him to Baden Powell, Vinicius de Moraes, Quarteto Em Cy (myfavouritevocal group) and eventually a multitude of other wonderful artists from the Bossa Nova and MPB era through the Tropicalia, Samba Soul and funk styles to the anything-goes hotbed of influences that is current Brazilian alternative music,”explained Carwyn.“The tour with the Pretenders was my first time on the continent and it had a huge impact on me.
Tracks such as “Tywydd hufen ia (Ice cream weather) and “Undiu” reflect the sound you might have expected from an album recorded in Brazil. However, the majority of tracks are more diverse and range from the glorious summer pop of “Duwies y dre” to the incredible “Ymosodwyr anweledig” (Invisible strangers) which is dark, foreboding and sounds like it could have been recorded at Hansa Studios with Eno at the helm.