Review // Gwenno – Le Kov
Rarely does an album ensnare a listener so deeply into its thrall than when it’s as beautifully produced and literate as Le Kov (trans: The Place of Memory), the second solo album from Gwenno.
After the sci-fi influences of its predecessor, Le Kov is more earth based project and, crucially, is performed in Cornish, a minority language of the UK that few understand fluently but translates very well to the warm synth-woven blanket it’s wrapped in. It’s an essential album from the captivating beginning to the thought provoking end.
Whilst its predecessor was based on an obscure yet strangely timely Welsh language sci-fi novel, this time round the focus is broader and ranges from coastal walks contemplating the tragedy of Brexit, traffic jams to the surprise album highlight Eus Keus (trans: Is There Cheese?) which echoes an old Cornish greeting that really does sound much better than your average hollow how-are-you’s. Certainly, it’s propulsive and incantatory chorus (even if you didn’t have a translation) will certainly be a highlight in the live setting we think!
Despite that though, the brief running time keeps things in a very organic perspective and it’s an album that really does sound like an album rather than just a disparate collection of songs which makes it all the more of a sonic treat. You can learn from it and you can dance to it as well. On top that it’s possibly one of the first Cornish language psych and dance influenced albums ever so it’s hitting the top on all levels of innovation and more of that in music is to be welcomed.
Le Kov is out now via Heavenly Records.
Words by C. Agent.