Bill Ryder-Jones - Iechyd Da


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Barcode: 0887828048533

Release Date
February 12, 2024
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Bill Ryder-Jones returns with his fifth album Iechyd Da. A record that is rooted in love, loss, pain, heartache and often a deep darkness, but one that also frequently ends up in places of profound beauty, hope and joy. “I love this album,” says Bill, “I haven't been this proud of a record since A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart.” It is also his most ambitious record to date. Beautifully produced, rich in scope, at times joyous, grand and sweeping, at others heartbreaking, intimate and tender. “It’s my most produced record,” adds Ryder-Jones, who from his Yawn studios in West Kirby has recently been producing the likes of Michael Head, Saint Saviour and Brooke Bentham. “It’s basically me carrying on with myself again, but this time around I’m a bit more competent as a producer, so I’m looking at songs with that head on.” Lyrically, Ryder-Jones is in potent form. At times he celebrates directness, being more open and honest than ever, while other moments are more complex and multi-faceted. He’s always able to seamlessly balance sadness with stunning beauty, and sly self-deprecation with palpable gentleness. Due to the deeply wide-screen approach to making this record - one that has Mick Head reading Ulysses over an instrumental one moment (“...And the Sea…”) to sampling strings from a 1978 disco cut the next (“This Can’t Go On”) - Ryder-Jones even got children involved. “I just thought I'd throw the kitchen sink in and get some kids as well,” he says. “It was such a sweet day with them - quite moving. It's quite funny when kids sing because you can tell they're just tapped into the energy and not the sound.” The name of the album Iechyd Da means good health in Welsh, while the album’s closing “Nos Da” - a beautifully woozy lullaby - means goodnight. “My love of Wales has always been there,” he says. “Half of my family is from there, I lost my brother there, all my childhood holidays were in Scotland or Wales. It's just a magical place with an incredibly beautiful language. Although I did have to go to Gruff Rhys and ask him about calling it this as I'm still very much an Englishman - he OK'd it.” “Over the years my music has lost a bit of its hope I reckon,” contemplates Bill Ryder-Jones. “It were important for me to make a record that had more hope in it. Even by my standards the last few years have been rocky, but I’ve chosen to soundtrack it with more positive music, you know?”