[5 May 2008]
In self-affecting American TV shows, when the main characters seem lost and alone, they always seem to walk slowly down rain-swept neon streets at night, the audience treated to inter-cut shots of their equally introspective friends and lovers staring out of windows. In these scenes, earnest singer-songwriters like Gwilyn Morus always seem to be playing, washing away their own sins through earnest plucking of acoustic guitar and soft, considered voice. Sometimes this is no bad thing. On Words on the Border, Morus considers the complexities on the border between the different cultures and heritage of his native Wales. Sung in Welsh and English, Morus’s voice evokes Drake, Vedder, and even Anthony Hegarty, while the rich consonants of the Welsh language work so well with his voice, wrapping themselves around the warm melodies. On the fiddle-led folk of “Leaving Town” and “Yn Y Pen Draw”, you might be forgiven for thinking Morus had travelled over the Irish sea, but I’m sure he’d tell you these are pure Welsh jigs.