From the depths of Mid Wales comes Owain Griffiths, lead vocalist of indie band Violas, who now lives in Cardiff. Under the moniker Carw, Owain’s music follows a new direction, experimenting with 80s synth sounds and dream-pop melodies weaving through layers of guitar effects, punctuated by abrupt drum-machine beats.
As well as live sessions for S4C programme Ochr 1, for Georgia Ruth’s show on C2 BBC Radio Cymru, and many plays on Adam Walton’s BBC Radio Wales show, Carw has attracted a lot of attention for his recent live preformances, joined onstage by an assemblage of machines and instruments.
Carw’s first EP, Les Sœurs was released in June 2015 on Blinc.
Laying gorgeously demurring earworms in your headspace, ‘Elevate’ comes pressed upon dream drifting flotillas of solar seafaring Balearic braids that coalesce to exact a sweetly spectral and serenely sighing bliss kissed haze upon your listening space which just when you’re idly surrendered to its calming charms it sneaks upon you leaving lazy eyed love notes in your back pocket.
– Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience/God Is in the TV
Enduring myths, romantic literature, lost French sailors and endless tea powers the gently glistening electro pop of Wales’ most elusive singer-songwriter, now revealed on his minimalist eleven-track, debut album…
A reclusive light shining from the vibrant fringes of music, art and performance in Wales’ pulsing capital, Cardiff-based singer-songwriter, Carw follows up the release of radio-charming singles, Lanterns and Lovers (all supported by BBC 6 Music, Amazing Radio, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru) with the release of his ten-track debut album, Skin Shed, released on BLINC Records on Fri 12 October 2018.
Sparse with eccentric discipline, swelled with understated melody and rich with an innate sense of lo-fi, DIY integrity, Carw (Welsh for ‘deer’ and pseudonym of Owain Griffiths, solo artist and live member of Eugene Capper & Rhodri Brooks and Winter Villains) wrote and recorded the majority of Skin Shed in his home studio, before collaborating with producer, Llion Robertson (producer of Gruff Rhys’ Babelsberg and member of Welsh Music Prize nominees, Cotton Wolf) in bottomless tea-powered polishing sessions. The result is a record that glides through the low gears, washing over listeners with rare tranquility before striking with the rush of heightened, 80s-inspired synth pop.
Wide open about his influences, Skin Shed bears the hallmarks of Carw’s record collection, picking up Vince Clarke programmed sound, the symphonic guitars of Cocteau Twins and Durruti Column and the sun-setting beats of Balearic house. ‘Opening’ track (pushing past the sci-fi, 1m 30s ‘Intro’) Lovers is symptomatic of the artist’s face-value approach to his finely-tuned craft, being a straight-faced love song painted over metronomic beats and a looped, jangling guitar riff. Jerome, where Carw’s voice receives rare, lone-female backing, recalls the story of Nova Scotia’s Jerome of Sandy Cove, an early 20th century castaway whose origins and life story remained a mystery until his death.
Y Galon Hon (transalation: This Heart) finds Montgomeryshire-raised Carw performing in his native Welsh to damn societal hierarchies and mourn the powerlessness of being unable to find a way out, before Trac 3 (translation: Track 3) restores his and Robertson’s playfulness, putting the ‘yacht pop’ instrumental, confusingly, at track five. A mystery to the writer himself, it’s meaning lost in time, the album’s debut single, Lanterns, shines as a shard of clean-cut pop, followed by Au Revior, which Carw says is a song about “a dream I had about three French sailors in a rowing boat on the sea who were singing a lullaby to their dying pet Doberman.”
There’s always a summit at the top of every glistening mountain slope and Feathers provides a breathtaking view from Skin Shed’s peak, bringing Carw’s pop sensibilities bubbling to the surface without hint of shame. Inspired by the R S Thomas poem, Comparisons, it’s an exercise in potent brevity that links the two masterpieces. As the album closes, Carw leaves the meaning or significance of the Gregorian chant of Meirw (translation: The Dead) and the lost meaning of Perfume Haze in the ears of the listener before waving into the distance with the deft, butter-soft love song, Asennau (translation: Ribs).
Skin Shed Tracklisting:
- Y Galon Hon
- Trac 3
- Au Revior
- Perfume Haze
More information on singles to accompany the album release to follow.
Crystalline guitars, persistent bleeps and ethereal vocals dapple the second single from elusive, Cardiff-based singer songwriter…
A second dose of 80s electro-inspired, shimmering pop from Welsh singer-songwriter, Carw arrives in the form of Lovers, his latest single to be released on August 10th on Blinc Records. Accruing radio support for his debut spring time release, Lanterns, from BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Wales, the lone Cardiff-based artist picked up comparisons to both early Depeche Mode and Cocteau Twins.
Carw, Welsh for ‘deer’, opens the door on a determinedly focused, self-initiated and largely self-produced project influenced by classic electronic pop, the symphonic guitars of Robin Guthrie and Durruti Column and sun-setting Balearic House. Charming introspection and acutely disciplined melody marries waves of airy instrumentation and shrouded vocals, perfecting a style of sun-flecked electronica that sets nature’s beauty alongside the dark nights and bright lights of the big city.
Lovers is taken from the debut Carw album. Blinc Records are proud to announce that the album is entitled Skin Shed, and will be released on October 12th.
Pulsing electro roots, the evocative, delicate techno-jangle and spectral vocals of Wales’ newest and most mysterious melody diviner…
Forged where land meets estuary waters and the city screams just a stone’s throw from nature, plugged-in Cardiff-based singer-songwriter Carw foretells the majesty of his summer debut album with the single, LANTERNS, released on BLINC Records on Friday 25 May 2018.
Carw, Welsh for ‘deer’, opens the door on a determinedly focused, self-initiated and largely self-produced project influenced by 1980s electronic pop, the expansive, dream worlds painted by the guitars of Cocteau Twins and the sun-setting grooves of Balearic House. Wired into the Welsh capital’s community of musicians and artists, Carw’s creative vision has been to cherrypick nature’s influence, having grown up in rural isolation, whilst suffusing deep breaths of clean air with the dust kicked-up in the vibrant cycle of city life.
Under his real name of Owain Griffiths, Carw’s previous collaborations and live appearances have been as part of Cotton Wolf, Eugene Capper & Rhodri Brooks, Winter Villains and the electronic synth trio, Hlemma. LANTERNS and Carw’s forthcoming album are co-produced by Cotton Wolf’s Llion Robertson.
Based in North Wales and serving at the vanguard of new music of Welsh origin and contemporary Welsh language music, BLINC Records releases Carw’s debut album in summer 2018, following previous releases by Welsh Music Prize 2017 nominees, HMS Morris husband and wife soundsmiths Rogue Jones, and OSHH.
LANTERNS will be available from all the main digital services – iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. More details to follow…
The time has come for Feathers to be blown into the air as Carw’s new single is released today.
The song’s already caught the attention of BBC Radio stations, having been played many times on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru in the run up to the release, and placed by Bethan Elfyn on the BBC Introducing Mixtape on Tom Robinson’s show on BBC 6Music this week.
Here is where you can purchase this digital-only release…
iTunes – https://t.co/KwcDef7Thd
And as ever, it is available in three different digital formats at the Blinc Records shop – http://blincrecords.com/product/carw-feathers-mp3flacwav
There are at least a dozen different ways of buying the new ‘Les Sœurs’ EP by Carw, so you have no excuse!
Buy the digital version…
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/les-s-urs-ep/id996816462
Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Carw_Les_S%C5%93urs?id=B2td3n5rxuddhm3wu7sgsfaynui
Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XYVZF6Q/ref=sr_1_1_rd?_encoding=UTF8&child=B00XYVZJP8&qid=1433791448&sr=1-1%3C/a%3E
Blinc Records – http://recordiaublinc.com/cynnyrch/carw-les-soeurs-ep-mp3flacwav-2/
And don’t forget that you can buy the CD and vinyl from the Blinc Records website http://recordiaublinc.com/siop, and from all good records shops throughout Wales.