Meilyr Jones – 2013
Inspired by a trip to Rome and motivated by the break-up of both his band and his relationship, 2013 is the debut solo album from Welsh singer Meilyr Jones. The record is driven by the question of what truly constitutes art: the meaning to the audience, or the intention of the artist, and also how the modern can coexist with the ancient.
This is a whimsical album that dances with a variety of concepts and sounds. Several of the songs were recorded live with a collective of 30 friends who banded together to form an orchestral accompaniment.
Don Juan hints at Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain with an oriental twist. Passionate Friend is a darkly introspective jaunt with lyrics such as “what is this thing, this thing to which my darkness clings”. It juxtaposes a bouncy melody with brooding lyrics, blending both together seamlessly and bringing out the manic intensity of each.
Rome feels like being ushered into a medieval court with the use of the harp and flute, accompanied by his dulcet choral range. This is continued in The Rain in Rome, which captures exactly this choral connection and creates something beautiful – music out of nature.
If one were to liken Jones to anyone, it would be Kate Bush. There are some similarities in their sounds, but it is more the awkward abandon with which he embraces every song that they share. It feels as though we are getting a peek into the inner workings of a cluttered yet focused mind that is always one step ahead. There are grand ideas as he bounces disconnectedly between instruments; he does away with timescales and jumbles them all together in a way that is oddly soothing.
Ultimately, to compare Jones with anyone or anything happening in music at the moment does him a disservice. This is a bold album that feels like a genuine outpouring of emotion. He pits old and new against one another in a unique manner and demands that the audience take their own journey, rather than simply being led.
2013 is released on 26th February 2016, for further information or to pre-order visit here.
Watch the video for How to Recognise a Work of Art here: