Fflur Dafydd a'r Barf - Byd Bach
Byd Bach, released on November 16th, is the latest offering from the increasingly-popular Carmarthen-based artist, Fflur Dafydd. Unlike her first two albums, “Byd Bach” (Small World) is a concept album that takes the listener on a whistle-stop tour of the artist’s favourite haunts in Wales, driving you through them at top speed, before you can even begin to strap on your seat belts. During the trip, you get to see a little bit of everywhere, namely Aberaeron, Porthgain, Penrhiwllan and Cardiff, before she charges back up the A470, paying visits to Anglesey and Llandygai Mountain.
“I’ve lived in so many different places in Wales,” Fflur comments. “I know that as Welsh people we sometimes find living in a “Small World” a frustrating thing, but the advantage is that you actually get to know your own country, something a person in a bigger country would never be able to do. I think that living in all four corners of Wales has certainly shaped me as a person, and the album is a means of reliving that emotional journey, through the means of song.”
There has certainly never been a Welsh album like it. As soon as we hear “Pobol Bach,” Fflur’s playful response to the Randy Newman song, “Short People,” in which she introduces us to the “short” cast of her “Small World,” or Abercuawg, an imaginary place referenced by the poet R.S. Thomas, we realise that we are in the hands of an unusual and gifted songwriter.
Certainly there is something on this album for everyone, and it once again showcases the unique partnership between Fflur and her excellent band, “Y Barf.” Although no one musical style drives the album, with each location claiming its own particular musical style and flavour, we can certainly recognise the musical energy and strong, catchy melodies that have come to characterise “Fflur Dafydd a’r Barf” over the past three years, and have certainly been responsible for their broad appeal in Wales and beyond.