Following the release of Adwaith’s second album – the krautrock-influenced, industrial odyssey of 2022’s Welsh Music Prize-winning Bato Mato – the Carmarthen band found themselves drawn back to the raw simplicity of their earliest days writing music together. Back in the beginning, growing up in the Welsh town of Carmarthen, they would create songs out of loose, evolving fragments, steadily building over the course of hours.
Adwaith returned to these older ways of working, crate-digging back into formative influences such as Juliana Hatfield and Hole for their new single ‘Addo’ , and sketching out the outlines of the song live as the band’s Hollie Singer and Gwenllian Anthony jammed together in the latter’s bedroom.
Later, they finished the track – the first glimpse of their third album, which is out next year – at Black Bay Studios in the Outer Hebrides, and enlisted none other than Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield to play guitar on the single. Watch the apt video created by S4C’s LWP set in a shadowy disused building, here:
‘Addo‘ – Welsh for Promise – takes influence from the alt-pop of the likes of Breeders and Liz Phair, it’s a subtle yet affecting dynamic that’s riven with twists and turns, teases and reveals its face, and it’s no less addictive for it. As plaintive verses backed by acoustic guitars give way to a spring heeled pre-chorus with the addition of Bradfield’s trademark chugging then glimmering guitars, bounding into a sprightly and infectious chorus with all three members entwined vocals spiraling like plumes of smoke into the sky. An enveloping chorus, that is at once hopeful and cathartic and like all of the best Adwaith songs you want to return to over and over.
Yet despite this this is one of the trio’s darkest songs to date. “Addo is about relationships in life that drain you,” the band explains, of Addo’s message. “It’s about caring deeply for someone self destructive who doesn’t care about themselves, and how when you’re involved in these relationships, it distorts your view of the world and the people around you.”
Another tantalising piece of songwriting excellence from ones of Wales’s finest Adwaith, that vividly shows how they are exploring yet new depths as a trio. It wears it’s empowering and hopeful realisation on its sleeve: you’re better off without them, promise.