Blodau Gwylltion - Llifo Fel Oed
Llifo Fel Oed (Flows Like Age) is the first album by Blodau Gwylltion, the two piece band from Wales. Its members, Manon Steffan Ros and Elwyn Williams, recorded these songs in Stiwdio Iawn, Aberystwyth, over a period of a few years, and the intimate, low-fi sound was important to them when recording, giving the impression of a live performance. “It sounds very personal, as though the band is there with the listener. There are a few faint background noises- there is a song with the cry of a seagull, and another which features the lovely melodic sigh of Greta, Elwyn’s little girl!’
The band combines folk and country influences, and all songs are written by Manon, with the exception of Ddoi Di Dei, which is a traditional folk song that was sung to Manon by her mother. Themes include the trickle of time, and there are many songs that feature water- the sea, lakes and rivers of Wales.
“The album title- Llifo Fel Oed, or Flows Like Age- comes from the final track, Plant Bach. It’s a song about how our children grow and the older generation dies, but nothing really dies- we are all part of a bigger circle. We become our forefathers, and love and the land and the seas all flow like age.”
Marchlyn- Marchlyn is a farm that is close to the river Dyfi in mid Wales. The song was written after Manon found an old photograph in her grandparents’ collection, showing a young woman outisde the farmhouse. On the back was written “Marchlyn”, and the family’s connection to the farm is unknown. Marchlyn is a love song, asking, What did you see between Marchlyn and Dyfi that was so much better than me?
Fy Mhader I- A loving hymn to an atheist. This is my prayer and it belongs to you.
Pan O’n I’n Fach- Written when Manon’s nephew was born, this is a celebration of a moment when she first listened to his breathing over an international phone line. The sound of your breath reminds me of a song my mam used to sing when I was little. The song mentioned was Ddoi Di Dei, a traditional song also included on this album.
Sarah- A song about a ship built in Aberdyfi at the beginning of the 20th century, and the jealousy felt by the lover of a sailor for this beautiful schooner. This ship was also the subject of a chapter of Manon’s novel, Llanw.
Ddoi Di Dei- This traditional Welsh song asks, Who plants the wild flowers?
Dwylo Iesu Grist- A love song using spiritual imagery. You have such faithful eyes, like Jesus in stained glass.
Nos Da- A lullaby that Manon wrote when her sons were babies. “I’d better say goodnight, although I will miss you.”
Pan Ei Di- A love song about trying not to lose your head when you’re old enough to know better. We’re too old to exchange such a smile.
Cân Mered- This is a song in memory of the singer and collector of folk songs, Meredydd Evans, who died in February 2015 and left an amazing legacy of songs, spirit and kindness. May I hear the last lullaby before the last melody takes you home?
Llyn Cwm Dulyn- Llyn Cwm Dulyn is a lake amongst mountains in a secluded spot in Snowdonia. It is an area known for its myths and legends, particularly about the tylwyth teg. This is a love song which implores, Take me to Llyn Cwm Dulyn, where the myths are all true.
Plant Bach- A song about watching children grow, and the magic of dens, the rhythm of a football pounding a wall, and little plastic Lego men. The fairground colours of your mind.