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Galwad y Mynydd

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Album Review

Galwad y Mynydd were a Welsh folk-rock combo with the emphasis on the Welsh — they sang all their songs in their native tongue and were clearly more interested in appealing to their peers than hitting the international hit parade with their spare but compelling melodies. The group's output was a mere two EPs released between 1971 and 1973, but they're well remembered enough among collectors of small-press recordings to prompt this reissue of their catalog from the British Finders Keepers label. Galwad y Mynydd embraced a graceful pop melodic sense in their music, but the rock in their folk-rock is of the gentlest sort — acoustic guitars dominate the arrangements (with an autoharp prominent on "Nid Yr Hen Gwestiynau Oedd Wrth Y Llyw"), and Mike Harries' drumming is simple and unobtrusive, rarely venturing much further than keeping the time (when he hits the crash cymbal, the effect is almost startling). The songs maintain a simple, pastoral air even if you don't know what the lyrics mean, and the harmonies and rough but sweet songcraft sound more like a product of the mid- to late '60s than the early '70s, when more progressive sounds were the order of the day and this sort of wistful, folk-inspired music was becoming less and less common. It's hard to categorize Galwad y Mynydd as a great lost band based on the eight songs they left behind — they were musicians part time, and often sound like it — but the melodies and the earnest but passionate performances are enough to suggest they could have become an important group with a bit more time, experience, and studio polish. Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals contributes a brief appreciation of Galwad y Mynydd to the liner notes; there's also a lengthy essay by group member Derec Brown, but it's presented only in Welsh.

Galwad y Mynydd, Galwad Y Mynydd
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