Album Review – Trwbador


Trwbador -‘Several Wolves.’ (Owlet Music)

Having released their rather fine self-titled debut last year, Angharad Van Rijswijk and Owain Gwilym have followed up with their sophomore album. And like that album, this is a veritable treat for the ears.

There’s a wonderful mix of pastoralism and bedroom beats going on here and this is a record that unveils itself to the listener with each successive listen (note: the tiny built-in speakers of a computer really will not do Several Wolves justice).

It is like wondering into another beautiful world – a feeling that is given extra enhancement by the track ‘CO2.’ This feels almost nightmarish in comparison to the rest of the record, as if to remind us all that if we are not careful about protecting what is special, we can lose it.

Last year’s album featured collaborations with Cornershop, amongst others; this time around they have worked with rapper ESSA on ‘Breakthorugh’ and former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci man Richard James on ‘Blue Minds.’

In lesser hands the very different threads of this album could have made an interesting rather than pleasurable listen. In the hands of this Welsh attic duo, it’s another treat.


Several Wolves is out now on Owlet Music.

Interview: Trwbador

trwabdor Out
Fabulous Welsh duo Trwbador tell 17 Seconds what makes them tick…

Please introduce yourselves

We’re Trwbador, a producing/songwriting duo from mid Wales.

How did the band come together?

We both lived in the same area, both moved to the city and started making music together then we both moved back from the city to rural Wales. We were both producers and songwriters wanting similar things.

Who are your influences?

Owain: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Marvin Gaye, Air, Wu-Tang, Broadcast, Kate Bush, Fugazi, Steve Reich and Jao Gilberto….That’ll do for now!

Angharad: Minimalism, Classic FM, Tumblr Images, Video Games and Chihuahuas.

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you at a gig?

At one of our first gigs, there was a man on the floor making out with a plastic robot toy dinosaur.

Do you read your press? If not, why?

I do (Angharad) but Owain doesn’t, He doesn’t like reading about his work in case it affects things we are working on at that moment or in the future, however that aspect does not bother me as I need to be aware where we sit for our label work.

Do you think the word ‘indie’ still means something in 2013? If so, what?

Owain: I associate it with guitar music, but I guess it should mean music released ‘independently’. It’s the word ‘Unsigned’ that is harder to define nowadays, for instance; where do you draw the line? You see in festival competitions etc, and radio shows etc, for unsigned artists it’s usually the ones who can afford PR that get places.

Who would you most like to cover one of your songs, and which one?

Fugazi- Red Handkerchiefs

What are your favourite albums?

Stan Getz and João GilbertoGetz/Gilberto, Finest Ego Faces Vol.4, Steve Reich Music for 18 musicians, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci Sleep/Holiday, James Yorkston Year of The Leopard, Kate Bush Never Forever

If you could work with one other musical act, alive or dead, who would it be?


What are your plans for the next twelve months?

To write and record the second album, find a few more people to work alongside, do another tour in August 2013, and release another ‘Owlet Music Compilation’.

Trwbador’s self-titled album has now been put back to April 29 (Owlet Music), but you can stream it below.

Album Review: Trwbador


Trwbador -‘Trwbador (Owlet Music)

Trwbador are the duo of half Welsh half Dutch Angharad Van Rijswijk and guitarist/producer Owain Gwilym. Recorded in their attic in Carmarthenshire (well, that’s what the press release says, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, so I’ll stick with that), their debut album is a real delight.

Rather like Cornershop, with whom they have collaborated, Trwbador are able to draw on a wide range of -very disparate- influences and yet have an eye on how to write actual, y’know, songs. First single ‘Safe’ is a case in point, where it starts off with the listener thinking that this boy and girl could give Chvrches a run for their money, and then somehow going off in a totally different direction. Like Kate Bush doing a capella with Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares.

Given that they’re welsh, and and there is a pastoral folk side to their music, comparisons will undoubtedly be made to the late, lamented Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. This is perhaps most in evidence on ‘Lluniau’ – which also acknowledges the electronica of acts like Four Tet and Bonobo.

A treat of a listen and one which I have been hugely enjoying over the last few weeks. One of the most lovely and unusual debuts you’re likely to hear this year.


Trwbador is out now on Owlet Music.