Who is Huw M?


Huw M is Welsh composer and performer Huw Meredydd Roberts who plays a mix of original melodies and borrowed folk songs, mangled together with influences from across the globe, to create haunting, intelligent music. He is joined by Lucy Simmonds on cello and vocals, Bethan Mai on accordion and vocals and Iolo Whelan on drums, percussion and vocals.

Stuart Maconie on BBC 6 Music referred to Huw M’s first single as a “Stunningly beautiful piece of music”. His first two albums received glowing reviews and widespread support by the likes of Marc Riley, Huw Stephens and Gideon Coe; his second album, Gathering Dusk, was also short-listed for the Welsh Music Prize.

Utica is Huw M’s third album – his first on the wonderful I Ka Ching label, recently chosen as NME’s label of the week. For this release, Huw has been working with The Marshall Sisters from Cardiff to blend early gospel with Welsh folk, and a good dollop of poignancy, melancholy and heartbreak.

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ALBUMS


SINGLES AND EPs


ALBUMS


SINGLES AND EPs


ALBUMS


Os Mewn Sŵn

Released: 2009 (independent)
Re-released: 2010 (Gwymon)

Os Mewn Sŵn (translated ‘If In Noise’) is a mix of original tracks and some borrowed Welsh folk songs, blended together with influences from France and Brazil and some weird and wonderful instruments such as the sitar and the Maui Xaphoon. The record, Huw M’s first album, was recorded in a four month period during the winter of 2008-9 by producer Frank Naughton.


Gathering Dusk

Released: 2011 (Gwymon)

There’s no doubting that there’s a warmth to Huw M’s music and his album ‘Gathering Dusk’ is like answering the door to an old friend. True, the word ‘lovely’ is overused. But from the fragile, ethereal ‘For while I wait for you to sleep’ to the lush texture of ‘Dyma lythyr’, ‘Gathering Dusk’ is a piece of pure loveliness. There are strains of the vast Welsh folk tradition to be heard in ‘Gathering Dusk’, but Huw M gives it a bright new coat of paint. The album was produced by Frank Naughton and Llion Robertson.


Utica

Released: 2015 (Recordiau I Ka Ching)

Utica is Huw M’s third album – his first on the wonderful I Ka Ching label, recently chosen as NME’s label of the week. For this release, Huw has been working with various musicians to blend early gospel with Welsh folk, and a good dollop of poignancy, melancholy and heartbreak. Very jolly stuff.


SINGLES AND EPs


Llwyd and Huw M – Rhywbeth Dros Dro

Released: 2008 (independent)

Huw M’s first single with musician Erddin Llwyd. The single included three songs – ‘Michelle Michelle’ by Huw M, ‘Barbariaid’ (translated as ‘Barbarians’) by Llwyd, and ‘Rhywbeth dros dro’ (‘Something temporary’) which was a collaboration between both artists. This was a limited edition single which was sold out.


Llwyd and Huw M – Dechrau yn y Dechrau

Released: 2008 (independent)

Huw M’s second single with musician Erddin Llwyd. The single included three songs – ‘Dechrau yn y dechrau’ (translated as ‘Begin at the beginning’), Gofod a’r Gwifrau (‘Space and Wires’) by Llwyd, ‘Seddi gwag’ (‘Empty seats’) by Huw M. This was a limited edition single which was sold out.


Huw M – Yn Ddistaw Ddistaw Bach

Released: 2010 (independent)

A Christmas EP by Huw M which included a mix of original songs, Welsh carols and a version of Siôn Corn by J Glyn Davies. This was a limited edition EP which was sold out.


UTICA


Utica is Huw M’s third album – his first on the wonderful I Ka Ching label, recently chosen as NME’s label of the week. For this release, Huw has been working with The Marshall Sisters from Cardiff to blend early gospel with Welsh folk, and a good dollop of poignancy, melancholy and heartbreak. Very jolly stuff.

Utica is Huw M’s third album – his first on the wonderful I Ka Ching label, recently chosen as NME’s label of the week. For this release, Huw has been working with The Marshall Sisters from Cardiff to blend early gospel with Welsh folk, and a good dollop of poignancy, melancholy and heartbreak. Very jolly stuff.

Huw M is Welsh composer and performer Huw Meredydd Roberts who plays a mix of original melodies and borrowed folk songs, mangled together with influences from across the globe, to create haunting, intelligent music. He is joined by Lucy Simmonds on cello and vocals, Bethan Mai on accordion and vocals and Iolo Whelan on drums, percussion and vocals.

Utica’s background is rooted deep in Welsh and American soil, both in musical content and interpretation. The Welsh folk song Si hwi hwi has travelled the Atlantic many times before settling on its most recent form on this album…

In the 1850s, poet Rowland Walter (1819 – 1884) from the Blaenau Ffestiniog area in north Wales emigrated to the USA. Troubled by the injustices of slavery, he wrote a deeply unsettling poem about the last night of a mother and child together.

A century later, a young scholar and folk singer, also from the Blaenau Ffestiniog area, moved to America to study at Princeton. His name was Meredydd Evans (1919 – 2015) and while there he was invited to record an album of Welsh folk music. One of the songs he chose was Si hwi hwi, a lullaby that had been sung to him by his own mother, and was Rowland Walter’s poem set to the traditional Welsh air Morfa Rhuddlan (‘The Marsh of Rhuddlan’). A full circle, ensuring the preservation of an important protest song for future generations, as interpreted here by Huw M.

The album is also influenced by another great folklorist and collector of folk music – Alan Lomax. The final song on Utica is a reworking of ‘Worried now, won’t be worried long’ – sourced from a recording made in 1959 by Alan Lomax in Senatobia, Mississippi during his journey of the US southern states, and sung by Sidney Hemphill Carter.

The decision to recorded Utica ‘as live’ brings out the dusty sole of each song, and provides us with beautiful, delicate moments as heard on originals such as ‘I wanted you to cry’.

Huw M’s music has been described in the past as “stunningly beautiful” by BBC 6 Music’s Stuart Maconie, and Utica won’t disappoint. Through borrowed songs and magical, timeless original compositions, the everlasting topics of sorrow and ‘hiraeth’ (Welsh for ‘longing’) are reborn once again.

To read more about Utica and the story behind some of the songs, and to see some studio photos, visit Huw M’s blog.

Huw M wishes to thank Arts Council of Wales for their support.

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Huw M

Huw M is Welsh singer, composer and performer Huw Meredydd Roberts who plays a mix of original melodies and borrowed folk songs, mangled together with influences from across the globe. His latest album, Utica, is released by I Ka Ching Records (2015).

LINKS

I KA CHING
Huw M's record label

Blog Utica
The story of recording Utica

Bandcamp
Listen to the music

Soundcloud
Listen to the music

Spillers Records
Buy the music

FOLLOW

Follow Huw M on the usual social sites.

Twitter

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Website's photographs by Kirsten McTernan. Designed and built by Dafydd Owain.
© Huw M 2015. Diogelir pob hawl.