We’re just over halfway into 2021, and it’s already been a great year for Welsh music with new releases from Gruff Rhys, Tom Jones, The Anchoress, Jodie Marie and MARINA (to name but a few). To commemorate some of our favourite releases of the year so far – and to get you up to speed if you’ve missed out – Wales Arts Review has compiled some of the best Welsh tracks from 2021 in a must-listen, 20-track playlist.
Whether you’re kicking back in the sun or sheltering from the rain, now is the perfect time to dive into our latest playlist for a flavour of the best Welsh tracks to be released in 2021 so far. Highlights include ‘The Art of Losing’ from The Anchoress, a single from the album of the same name. In a review for Wales Arts Review, Tilly Foulkes described the album as “sonically ethereal” with “lyrics […] deeply rooted in reality and the ugliness of grief”.
Also included in the playlist is the title track from Gruff Rhys’ 2021 record Seeking New Gods. Writing on the album, Jack Boyce said that the LP provided “a statement on both Rhys’ stature within the Welsh music community and his ability to congregate and bounce ideas off of his peers”.
While the playlist is packed with exciting new and emerging Welsh music artists, we haven’t forgotten to include some classics with the addition of Tom Jones’ triumphant cover of Terry Callier’s ‘Lazarus Man’. In his review of Surrounded By Time, Gary Raymond wrote that “[Lazarus Man] may at first feel a clumsy nod to Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’ on Blackstar, but in the execution, Jones has found a subtle, pining quality to his voice I’m not sure I’ve ever heard before. It’s a triumphant “owning” of one of the greatest songs ever written.”
You can listen to The Best Welsh Tracks of 2021 (So Far) via Spotify below.