Huw M - Gathering Dusk
There’s no doubting that there’s a warmth to Huw M’s music and his new 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, somewhere between Gorky’s delicate moments and Gruff Rhys’s sweet pop.
When performing live, Huw usually loops various sounds, so creating his own ‘band’. But here, like a house made of Lego, every musical brick is purposely placed, overlapping each other to create a magical arrangement. ‘Gathering Dusk’ is marginally different to his other albums in that it is more of a collaboration between Huw and real live musicians; Angust West plays the French horn, and Lucy Simmonds on the cello (a member of the Mavron Quartet who featured on Gareth Bonello’s latest album) draws on her classical background. Frank Naughton (drums, base guitar, percussion), Alun Bonello (drums) and Bethan Reynolds (vocals) also bring their influences to the table, and between them, cook up a feast.
Huw M sings of real, first hand experiences; nothing flowery and pretentious and to accompany each song, the designer Aled ‘Arth’ Cummins has created a booklet with an image for each one.
“The ideas for ‘Gathering Dusk’ have been developing since I released my first album ‘Os Mewn Sŵn’. Some ideas have been growing slowly, others disappeared and then reappeared, some that I couldn’t stand and some that have developed into bigger and better songs with the help of other musicians.”
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. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.