NEW ALBUM, ‘MAS’
Never one to sit still, Carwyn Ellis is continuing his voyage into Latin Americana with the release of a new album with Rio 18, ‘Mas’.
Like it’s predecessor, the acclaimed ‘Joia!’, this album is a collection of songs sung in Welsh combined with distinct pop and South American flavours drawn from Bossa Nova, Cumbia, Samba and Tropicalismo styles, recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Caernarfon and London.
Mas feels strangely right for our times: an album whose title means several things, as befits its global outlook. Mas means “out” in Welsh, “more” in Spanish, and “but” in Portuguese: these meanings filling that single syllable with promise, potential, but also the subtle edge of a warning. It’s a mood that fits the more political tenor of Rio 18’s second turn around the world, as Carwyn and his friends explore some substantial subjects: the drowning of villages, climate change, migration and the rise of megacities. They do so not in sober, serious settings, but beautiful, uplifting songs. Other tracks also celebrate the vivid pleasures of love, nature and our essential humanity.
Mas is a record of beautiful songs that says, wait, listen, delight, come together, then act. We owe it to ourselves, to each other, to our beautiful world.
AR ÔL Y GLAW
The first song to be taken from the forthcoming album by Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18, ‘Mas’, Ar Ôl Y Glaw [After The Rain], is a “lockdown-flavoured reaction to the horrible swirling nastiness in America that we saw earlier this year,” says Carwyn Ellis. The song talks of the hope that we have to cling to after such troubling events, its mood inspired by a YouTube clip Carwyn loves of Donovan and Sergio Mendes singing Donovan’s song, ‘There Is A Mountain’ together. Marged Rhys (of Welsh folk trio Plu) co-wrote it, Carwyn sending her the original demo and chorus, which she finished, he laughs, “unlike me, at lightning speed”.
Ar Ôl Y Glaw is available to stream now.