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album by Super Furry Animals

Mwng

Release Date 15 May 2000
Released19 years ago
Performer Super Furry Animals
Correction?
Mwng
Mwng
Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals performing with Neon Neon at Summercase, Barcelona, July 2008.

About Mwng

Mwng (pronounced [ˈmʊŋ]; English: Mane) is the fourth studio album by Welsh rock band the Super Furry Animals, and the first by the group to have lyrics written entirely in the Welsh language. Mwng was released on 15 May 2000 on the band's own record label, Placid Casual, following the demise of their former label Creation. The album includes the single "Ysbeidiau Heulog", and reached number 11 on the UK Albums Chart following its release—the first Welsh-language album to reach the top 20. This success led to Mwng being mentioned in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom by Elfyn Llwyd, who described the record as a celebration of a "new wave of confidence in the Welsh nation". The Super Furry Animals had attempted to make a hit record with a commercial sound with their previous release, 1999's Guerrilla. The record's singles failed to hit the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, so the band decided to go on "pop strike". The group had written several Welsh-language songs during sessions for Guerrilla, and opted to release them as a coherent album rather than issue "token Welsh songs" as b-sides—reasoning that, if their English pop songs were not going to be played on the radio they may as well release Welsh pop songs that would not get played on the radio. Singer Gruff Rhys stated that, although the decision to release a Welsh language album was not an explicitly political statement, he does feel the record is a "stand against globalisation". Recording largely took place at Ofn Studios, Llanfaelog, Anglesey in 1999, with the band sharing production duties with Gorwel Owen. The "lo-fi" album cost just £6,000 to make, in contrast with the "excessive expense" of Guerrilla, and was recorded almost entirely live. Mwng is an understated rock record inspired by the band's love of "Anglo-American pop culture of the 60s, 70s and 80s." The album has a "wintery persona" that is best summed up by the track "Ymaelodi Â'r Ymylon". Rhys feels that the record marks the first time the band managed to escape their influences and clearly establish their own sound. The album's lyrics deal with a diverse set of subjects, such as the death of rural communities, old school teachers, and Sarn Helen (a Roman road built in Wales). Rhys has stated that many of Mwng's songs are highly personal reflections on what were difficult years for him. Rhys has also expressed the belief that the album is accessible to non-Welsh speakers, as they can pick up on the mood of the songs even if they cannot understand the lyrics. Critical reception was generally positive, although some reviewers criticised the album for its "bare-boned production". Mwng was included in both the Melody Maker and NME "Best album of 2000" lists, with the latter calling the record the band's best release. The band were surprised by album's commercial success, entering number 11 in the UK charts, and going on to become the biggest-selling Welsh language album.


Extra Info

Genre alternative rock
Record label Placid Casual
Follows Guerrilla
Followed by Rings Around the World