Welsh Music Wednesday #19: ‘Swooshed’ Album Review


The name ‘Swooshed‘ might ring a bell if you read our Horizons Special a few weeks back. ANELOG are one of this year’s Horizons 12, and they also just happen to open this wonderful compilation album released by Recordiau Cae Gwyn. ‘Swooshed‘ features some of the most enchanting, stimulating and altogether beautiful sounds that Wales has to offer. This Welsh Music Wednesday, we’re doing a track by track review to celebrate the release of this wonderful album.

  1. ANELOG– ‘Siabod

We already know a little about ANELOG from this year’s Horizons announcement, so I was excited to hear them opening ‘Swooshed‘. ‘Siabod‘ is an intricate song; the smooth, electronics, grittier guitar segments and entrancing vocals contrast to create a simultaneously tranquil and haunting piece of music. ‘Siabod‘ really does activate your senses, giving us a pretty good insight into ANELOG’s interesting style.


  1. Omaloma – ‘Lutra

Lutra’ is a deeply moving instrumental piece which is “inspired by the otters that live on the banks of the Afon Machno”. This lovely bit of backstory ignites the vivid imagery that comes to mind when listening to ‘Lutra‘. Although the song feels quite sorrowful at first (which is far from a bad thing, by the way), the imagery of the otters on the river, gliding with the current, gives it a peaceful and calming quality, as opposed to a sad one.

Perhaps, a song you would listen to if you needed to clear your head on a difficult day (and fill it with otters instead). Regardless of what feelings ‘Lutra‘ triggers in you, it is undoubtedly a beautifully emotive piece of music.


  1. Dan Amor & Huw Owen – ‘Mothers in Day-Glo

Another song with another lovely backstory, ‘Mothers in Day-Glo‘ was recorded “in an old quarry man’s cottage above Tregarth in North Wales.” Dan Amor & Huw Owen pick up the pace of ‘Swooshed‘ slightly with ‘Mothers in Day-Glo‘, whilst still holding the ambiance of the album by creating a delicate melody accompanied by whispered vocals. That description makes it sound as though ‘Mothers in Day-Glo‘ would be a mellow song, but it has a gentle bounce to it, making it an infectiously uplifting tune. The more you listen to it, the lovelier it gets.


  1. David Hopwell – ‘Surfaces

Surfaces‘ is one of the most, if not the most interesting track on the album. David takes inspiration from the upper Ogwen valley and uses “environmental recordings and words taken from a writer’s notebook” to create this piece. You might think listening to nearly six minutes of noises would be boring, but every second on ‘Surfaces‘ is utterly captivating. It’s not always clear what was used to make the sounds, but that’s what makes it even more interesting. Maybe that’s the response David was hoping for when he made some of these recordings, aiming to summon “natural and unnatural presences from the landscape”.

The clear, natural sounds of the running water, the birds singing, dogs barking and more, contrast beautifully with the more unnatural sounds that you can’t quite identify; giving the piece its more unnatural, mysterious edge.

The eerie vocals, spoken over some of the more haunting sounds, sets up the hypnotic and almost supernatural closure of the piece. By the time it ends, you find yourself completely engulfed by the sounds, surrounding your entire body and not just your ears.

This fixation leads to you to press repeat, and with each play, you listen even more intently in an attempt to unravel the piece. You may discover a new sound with every listen, but can’t possibly unravel something so complex, yet so beautifully simple. But why would you want to?


  1. Dewi Evans – ‘Daylight Alien

Continuing with the slightly abnormal theme, the title for Dewi Evans‘ ‘Daylight Alien‘ came to him “in a dream” and when you feel the extra-terrestrial atmosphere of the song, with its almost mechanical and haunting melody, the title fits perfectly. Perhaps it was more of a premonition than a dream?

The song is an entirely instrumental piece which stirs a variety of emotions as it progresses; there are some soothing elements and some more mysterious, almost anxious elements to it. My personal interpretation is that the song is conveying some uncertainty, or worry about a potential danger approaching (maybe it’s an alien). Whatever feelings this song stirs in you, it’s yet another captivating piece of music on this brilliant album.


  1. John Lawrence – ‘Eclipse, Indian Summer

Swooshed‘ begins to steer in a slightly different direction with John Lawrence‘s ‘Eclipse, Indian Summer‘. The song opens with some strings, guitar strings; fast, frisky and fun sounding guitar strings. This elevating opening fools you into thinking this will be a joyful song, but apparently John Lawrence is a cruel man. The rhythm steadily slows, and is carried along by the guitar’s intricate melody and the song becomes more peaceful in tone. And just as you’ve been coaxed into the tranquillity of ‘Eclipse, Indian Summer‘, you’re hit with the most delicate but most powerful punch in the gut you’ve ever felt. A few sudden but simple piano notes transforms tranquillity into heartbreak, making this piece one of the most clever, emotive and beautiful songs on the album.


  1. Nia Morgan – ‘Ballad of the Woods

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, Nia Morgan, delivers us a song based on the poem ‘Ballad of the Woods‘ by James Lyons, “who died on his way to fight in the First World War”. Nia brings this poem to life beautifully, with an assortment of strings accompanying her serene vocals.

Her voice is so sweet that it resembles a songbird, which is apt, given the title of the song, listening to it does make you feel as though you’re surrounded by nature. ‘Ballad of the Woods‘ is a delicate, tuneful addition to ‘Swooshed‘ and for me, is one of the most notable songs on the album.


  1. Siôn Richards, featuring Odlgymix – ‘Diwrnod y Brain

Siôn Richards is normally considered a folk artist, but if we’re putting music into categories, this psychedelic trip of a tune is far from folk. The spooky sounds in this song do feel quite symbolic of the title, ‘Diwrnod Y Brain‘, that’s ‘Day of The Crows‘. The resonant, mellow electronics contrasting with sharp, sudden and almost screeching high notes do make you feel like you’re in the unlit halls of an old, haunted castle. The ghost-like vocals add another layer to this haunting piece, you feel as though the moan of a ghoul is echoing around you, following you down those dark halls.

The more you listen to it, the scarier it gets, as if crows are about to suddenly appear all around you, like something out of ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas‘. Perhaps a horror remake with crows instead of bats, and Siôn Richards and Odlgymix writing the score is on the cards.


  1. FionaGorwel Owen – ‘Faintest Idea

And now for something completely different; Fiona & Gorwel Owen are here to reassure you that you’re not actually in a psychedelic horror film, but rather listening to an album capable of transporting you to places in your brain you didn’t know existed, in a matter of minutes. ‘Faintest Idea‘ is one of my favourite, maybe even my favourite, track on the album.

Fiona’s voice is powerfully raw, you can hear every note, almost every syllable, that she sings with such natural clarity and her vocals are perfectly complemented by the balance of soft acoustic and ambient electronic melody.

I’m not entirely sure what makes ‘Faintest Idea‘ my favourite song on the album. It has a kind of innocence to it which makes it very calming and comforting, and lyrically, it’s beautiful…so maybe that’s what.


  1. Dan Amor & Huw Owen – ‘Segontiwm’

Dan Amor & Huw Owen make a second appearance on ‘Swooshed‘ to close the album. ‘Segontiwm‘ was originally written as a soundtrack for a short film, I say ‘originally written’ as if it sounds like Dan & Huw had a plan, but apparently, “the pair operate on a strict ‘blank canvas’ policy”, meaning they come up with all their ideas for a song on the day they record it. Their experimental technique results in a truly fascinating piece of music.

Like David Hopwell‘s ‘Surfaces‘, ‘Segontiwm‘ uses a wide variety of natural sounds to create the song. There also seem to be some more unidentifiable, unnatural sounds used in ‘Segontiwm‘, which come in suddenly in contrast to the gentle undertone.

The combination of what seems to be static and running water, is particularly powerful, and plays a vital part in making ‘Segontiwm‘ an overall dark and harrowing piece of music.




So, there’s ‘Swooshed’, there’s not a single bad or boring track on the entire album. Considering each song is so different to the last, as it’s a compilation album, no one track feels misplaced or unnecessary. Every piece of music brings something special to this evocative, spectacular album. It showcases sounds that you wouldn’t hear on the radio (unless, of course, it’s Adam Walton‘s show) and sounds that you didn’t even know were possible.

The digital album is available for under a fiver and the limited run of hard copies with beautiful, hand-painted artwork (some of which is featured above) by Yvonne Amor, are running very low, so if you want one, you’d better grab one now.


Header photo/album artwork by Yvonne Amor

With thanks to Recordiau Cae Gwyn.