For her second album, Welsh singer Gwenno immersed herself in Cornish history and culture, so much so that she decided to record the whole of ‘Le Kov’ in the peninsula’s native language. The lilting tones marry up perfectly with her dreamy approach to pop music, leaning into the electronic side but keeping a strong acoustic base too. It goes without saying that you don’t need any level in the understanding of Cornish to enjoy it – Gwenno’s music and singing does more than enough communicating. ‘Tir Ha Mor’ stands out for its lovely vocal, digging deep in its homage to the St Ives painter Peter Lanyon, while on ‘Daromres y’n Howl’ (Traffic In The Sun) the familiar tones of the Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys make a welcome appearance. ‘Eus Keus’ (Is There Cheese?), one of the oldest Cornish phrases, gets a powerful urgency, while ‘Hi A Skoellyas Liv A Dhagrow’ (She Shed A Flood Of Tears) is actually a cover of fellow Cornishman Aphex Twin, a song from the ‘Drukqs’ album. As a late night or early morning companion, ‘Le Kov’ is a lovely piece of work, and both its natural approach and Gwenno’s vocals are completely endearing.
5 out of 5