Release Date: Mar 2, 2018
Record label: Heavenly
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, Neo-Psychedelia
Language carries a living record. Sunken cities, forgotten legends, communal values lost in the shuffle of the individual age— every tongue unlocks stores of secrets. Welsh linguist and former Pipettes singer/keyboardist Gwenno Saunders creates psychic space for the U.K.'s most beleaguered languages: after writing her obsidian debut Y Dydd Olaf almost entirely in Welsh, she now turns her pen to the less-spoken Cornish language for the follow-up, Le Kov.
Fewer than a thousand people in the world can speak Cornish. One of them, Gwenno Mererid Saunders, has proven adept at crafting exquisite, exploratory pop music in that particular Brythonic vernacular. Using Cornish legends of sunken cities as a departure point, Le Kov — which translates to The Place of Memory — strikes reflective tones in a palace of synthesizers and haunted, waterlogged sounds. "Tir Ha Mor" ("Land and Sea") finds Gwenno's voice gliding coolly over a flow of piano, synth, drum and bass; "Eus Keus?" ("Is There Cheese?") has a percolating musical urgency that bubbles into a shimmering vocal hook at the chorus.
Gwenno Saunders dipped into the language of part of her family - Cornish - for the final track of her solo debut, 2015's stunningly spectral Y Dydd Olaf. On her follow-up Cornish dominates and the results are smoother round the edges, more considered, heck, even mature. Her fluency in a language only spoken by roughly 1,000 people allows Le Kov (The Place Of Memory) to sparkle.