Published on Cardiff AfterDark (19th Nov 2014)
Delyth McLean, for many, was one of the highlights of this year’s Swn Festival and undoubtedly won over many new fans with her stunning performance (AfterDark clearly being one of them judging by our glowing review of her in our coverage of Swn). You can never underestimate Swn’s power to catapult exciting Welsh artists into newfound public recognition, and Delyth is the latest in a long line of acts to emerge from that canon. The glowing response she received was made even more remarkable by the fact that she has only been performing as a solo artist for little over a year, and this was the very first gig done with her new band.
The only disappointment came out of wanting to explore her back catalogue online immediately after her gig with all of the songs still ringing in my head well after, only to find none of them in as-yet-released form. The ‘hidden gem’ description has a very apt meaning here. Thankfully, myself and countless other fans, old and new, have her soon-to-be-released debut single to look forward to, the breathtaking Lost in Sound. This was recorded with in-demand songwriter extraordinaire Amy Wadge, who seems to add a golden touch to anything she lays her fingertips on, and is the first track to be taken from her forthcoming ‘Bi-Lingual’ EP (due for release early next year. I’ve had the privilege of getting an exclusive play of Lost in Sound ahead of its release, and it is as understatedly brilliant as you can come to expect from Miss McLean.
In the singer’s own words, Lost in Sound emerged out of a breakup during which she lost her passion for music, until eventually her creative spirit was rekindled. The best, rawest music often comes out of the most cathartic experiences and Lost in Sound is testament to this.
The emotional power and main hook of the track lies in her haunting falsetto vocals, which are given room to roam by the track’s bare instrumentation. Delyth’s magnetic voice and presence is an instrument in its own right and sets her apart from many others within the folk genre, and it is a weapon which she uses to full effect here. The serenity of the track is what makes it special, speaking loudly to the heart and soul without being loud.
Lost in Sound is both a delightful culmination of all the hype Delyth has generated over the past year, and a vivid signpost to what looks set to be an exciting future ahead for the Welsh songbird.
Lost in Sound will be available to buy and stream on Thursday 27 November. The track is taken from her ‘Bi-Lingual’ EP which will be out early next year.
Shortly after her set at Swn Festival, AfterDark’s Dean Hodge managed to grab a quick few words with her to talk about what she made of her performance and her plans for next year.
DEAN: What did you make of the experience playing at Swn Festival?
DELYTH: It was fantastic. I couldn’t ask for more really. I didn’t expect so many people to turn up and see my set, and get such an amazing response – especially as I was playing as early as 2pm in the afternoon!
DEAN: And this was the first time you played with the band?
DELYTH: Yes, I’ve been rehearsing for only a month with the band up to now. Swn is such a big stage to be playing our first proper gig as a band together, but I’m really happy with how it went. I’ve been gigging on my own for only a year and a half now, so to be playing here is surreal and amazing.
DEAN: Have you grown much more confident as a performer the more you’ve been playing on stage?
DELYTH: Definitely! I wouldn’t be where I am now, or be able to have a band behind me, if I didn’t have the experience that I’ve gained from gigging relentlessly over the past year.
DEAN: What are you plans for the next year, and are you releasing any new material soon?
DELYTH: I’ve recorded a double A-side single with Amy Wadge which will be released later this month. Working with Amy Wadge has been an amazing experience. She’s been in the industry for so many years, and has so much musical knowledge. I feel like a sponge when I’m around her because I soak up so much knowledge and ideas from her. Plus, she’s a very kind person and a pleasure to work with. She’s written with people like Ed Sheeran and Lewis Watson so she has so many stories to tell.
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