Skin Shed

Enduring myths, romantic literature, lost French sailors and endless tea powers the gently glistening electro pop of Wales’ most elusive singer-songwriter, now revealed on his minimalist ten-track, debut album. A reclusive light shining from the vibrant fringes of music, art and performance in Wales’ pulsing capital, Cardiff-based singer-songwriter, Carw follows up the release of radio-charming singles, Lanterns and Lovers with the release of his ten-track debut album, Skin Shed. Sparse with eccentric discipline, swelled with understated melody and rich with an innate sense of lo-fi, DIY integrity, Carw (Welsh for ‘deer’ and pseudonym of Owain Griffiths, solo artist and live member of Eugene Capper and Rhodri Brooks and Winter Villains) wrote and recorded the majority of Skin Shed in his home studio, before collaborating with producer, Llion Robertson (producer of Gruff Rhys’ Babelsberg and member of Welsh Music Prize nominees, Cotton Wolf) in bottomless tea-powered polishing sessions. The result is a record that glides through the low gears, washing over listeners with rare tranquility before striking with the rush of heightened, 80s-inspired synth pop.

Wide open about his influences, Skin Shed bears the hallmarks of Carw’s record collection, picking up Vince Clarke programmed sound, the symphonic guitars of Cocteau Twins and Durruti Column and the sun-setting beats of Balearic house. ‘Opening’ track (pushing past the sci-fi, 1m 30s ‘Intro’) Lovers is symptomatic of the artist’s face-value approach to his finely-tuned craft, being a straight-faced love song painted over metronomic beats and a looped, jangling guitar riff. Jerome, where Carw’s voice receives rare, lone-female backing, recalls the story of Nova Scotia’s Jerome of Sandy Cove, an early 20th century castaway whose origins and life story remained a mystery until his death.