Anian is 9Bach’s third album. Like 2014’s Tincian it begins in North Wales, but broadens out through Greek and Near Eastern influences into an emotional tour de force. Angry, sad, but most of all passionate at the state of the world, the album taps into a truly universal language.
While Tincian was very much rooted in hiraeth, the scarred past of the mountainous mining landscape of the Ogwen Valley, North Wales, Anian looks outwards into the present. As singer, composer and pianist Lisa Jên explains, it comes from a desperate, anarchic place. “It marks where I’m at, whether it’s my age, being a mother, or simply being much more exposed to social media where I’m faced with pictures and videos, images and words which I find difficult to cope with right now.”
The eleven songs move from the rolling rhythms of ‘Llyn Du’ to the piano settings of ‘Ifan’ and ‘Deryn’, the layered voices of ‘Brain’ and ‘Si Hwi Hwi’ to the full band, Near Eastern climax of ‘Cyfaddefa’. At the centre is always Lisa Jên’s voice, and the instinctive way in which 9Bach work together.
“The songs always start with the vocal melody,” says Martin Hoyland. “Then it’s my job to build the instrumentation and arrangements around that, and to complement it as much as possible.”
9Bach - Anian
1. Llyn Du
3. Yr Olaf
5. Si Hwi Hwi
10. Ambell Hiraeth
11. Breuddwyd y Bardd