With her acclaimed second album Le Kov now out via Heavenly Recordings, Gwenno has today shared a video for “Eus Keus?”, the second single to be released from the LP.
Translating as “Is There Cheese?” in English, Gwenno says of the Cornish pagan pop song: “The Druids believed in the power of words and the magic that they created with repetition. ‘Eus Keus?’ is a pagan pop song celebrating 10,000 years of cheese offering as a gift to the gods. We call on the people of Kernow, and beyond – chant with us!”
Watch the video below…
She dove deep into research, learning about attempts to protect and progress the language and the role of women throughout Cornish history. When Gwenno considered the legends of sunken Brythonic cities Cantre’r Gwaelod, Kêr-Is, Langarrow and Lyonesse, she knew she had her starting point. These cities evoked her idea of language as its own form of psychological territory, a concept perfectly distilled by the Cornish title for the album, Le Kov – the place of memory.
But Le Kov isn’t really a concept album—the city doesn’t loom that large through these 10 songs, and you don’t need the translation sheet to appreciate the gorgeous, sea-warped psychedelia that Gwenno has created alongside long-term collaborator and producer Rhys Edwards. Evoking the music of her childhood – Brenda Wootton, Alan Stivell, BUCCA – along with Broadcast, The United States of America, White Noise andSerge Gainsbourg, Le Kov is shimmering and tarnished, rust mingled with barnacles, moss entwined with weathered rope. It’s a huge step up from her debut album, Y Dydd Olaf, featuring forlorn piano, crisp drums, and searching synth lines that seem to reach across the horizon. The sounds of the language are similarly gorgeous: “Dha wolow jy yw splann” (“your light is bright”), Gwenno marvels on Hi A Skoellyas Liv A Dhagrow (She Shed A Flood Of Tears).
Over the course of making Le Kov, Gwenno reconciled her anxiety over her right to make a Cornish-language pop record, and realised that, in the age of Brexit, isolationism and hostility towards the rich cultures that make modern Britain, it had a wider resonance, too. “This album is a combination of accepting the culture which your parents have valued enough to want to pass on to you, regardless how small, and utilising it in a positive way to try and make sense of the world around you, it’s also about having to accept and respect the nuances that make us all different and discovering that all of our stories share the same truth.”
Gwenno recently announced a run of live performances in support of Le Kov, and has just added a headline show at London’s Islington Assembly Hall in October and a number of summer festivals…
Dates / info below:
Thursday 22nd March – BRISTOL – Louisiana *SOLD OUT*
Friday 23rd March – OXFORD – Bullingdon Arms
Sunday 25th March – ABERYSTWYTH – Ceredigion Museum *SOLD OUT*
Saturday 7th April – WREXHAM – Ty Pawb
Thursday 12th April – LONDON – Hoxton Hall *SOLD OUT*
Friday 4th May – TRURO – The Old Bakery
Friday 25th May – EDINBURGH – Hidden Door Festival
Saturday 21st July – CARDIGAN – Castell Aberteifi / Cardigan Castle
Friday 27th July – CORNWALL – Port Eliot Festival
Sunday 29th July – DERBY – Indietracks Festival
Thursday 16th August – BERLIN – Pop-Kultur
Friday 24th August – TOTNES – Sea Change Festival
31st August to 2nd Sept – SALISBURY – End of the Road Festival
Friday 7th September – PORTMEIRION – Festival No. 6
Friday 14th September – FLINTSHIRE – Good Life Experience
Thursday 18th October – LONDON – Islington Assembly Hall