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Sybs Discuss Their Favourite Welsh Acts

Cardiff-based psych-pop band SYBS have released their eagerly anticipated debut album, 'Olew Nadroedd' (Snake Oil), on May 3, 2024. This compelling record encapsulates the thrill and uncertainty of young adulthood. Osian Llŷr, the band's songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist, explains, "We wanted to capture where we were as a band when many of these songs were written—experimenting with our sound and embracing a wide array of musical influences."

Inspired by eclectic albums like Yo La Tengo's 'I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One' and Cornelius' 'Fantasma,' SYBS have created a vibrant collage of sounds that convey the chaos and energy of their pre-COVID lives, where university and frequent gigs in Cardiff shaped their experiences. The band are truly making a mark for Welsh-singing bands. We spoke to them about their favourite Welsh artists.

Y Dail’s music has been on my radar for a few years now and loved their previous singles such as  ‘the piper pulled down the sky’, but it was when I finally caught them live a few months ago that I  really got hooked on them. Their songwriting has always been incredibly strong and very  reminiscent of Euros Childs of Gorky’s or Stephen Malkmus’ work with The Jicks, but their most  recent live lineup really gives the songs the elevation they deserve and I was blown away by their  performance. The band seemed like they’d been rehearsing like it’s their full time job and were  extremely consistent; this representation of the songs just really hit it home to me that all of their  tracks are completely self contained pop gems. Their set almost felt like a more ‘experienced’  artist playing their greatest hits, and I had to keep reminding myself that at that point they hadn’t  even released their debut album. Well their debut album ‘Teigr’ is out now and it’s very, very good. 


I’m quite new to Sachasom’s music but I’ve recently been obsessed with his song ‘Braf Oedd  Byw’. It’s unlike anything I’ve heard coming from the welsh music scene and I’m really excited to  see more experimental electronic music like this coming out of the scene. I suppose the music  itself is largely instrumental so it’s cool to see music like this affiliated with ‘welsh language’  music; where all the vocal samples seem to be in Welsh but they’re not really the focal point of the  songs at all, they just happen to be in Welsh. Wether intentional or not I personally feel like this  does way more to ‘normalise’ the use of welsh language than some Welsh band trying to imitate  whatever English language band is hip at the moment, and I think that’s very exciting! Braf Oedd Byw reminds me a lot of early Neu, as well as the chopped, glitchy sample pop of Lali  Puna, and it’s an absolute earworm of a song; in the sense that I constantly find it playing in my  head, and in the sense that it literally sounds like it was written and recorded by bugs.  

3.Pys Melyn. 

Whenever I’m asked by a non Welsh speaker to recommend a Welsh language band I always  mention Pys Melyn. The two albums they have out are absolute staples as far as I’m concerned,  and musically they cover an insane amount of ground. Their music seems to be just as inspired by  Zamrock as it is by the 60’s hayday of Sain Label psych-folk artists. As I previously mentioned I’m  annoyed by the presumption that Welsh music has to imitate popular English music to be deemed  as ‘acceptable’ or worthy of radio play, funding etc, so it’s a breath of fresh air when a band like  Pys Melyn, who seem to be informed by DEEP levels of crate digging and musical exploration,  manages to garner a commendable level of popularity inside and outside of Wales. Despite their  relative success their latest album, Bolmynydd seems to delve even deeper into musical obscurity  (in the best way possible). Given the sheer breadth of their influences it honestly wouldn’t make  sense at all for them to be singing in English. I’m very excited to hear where they take their sound  next. 

4.HMS Morris. 

HMS Morris played a huge role for me in wanting to be a part of the welsh music scene, after  watching them, as well as CPT Smith perform on Ochr 1 a music show that used to run on S4C  many years ago. At the time they were a relatively new band that consisted of only two members  but over the years it’s been incredible to see them evolve into the multi faceted, multi membered  super group they are now. Live, frontwoman Heledd has this incredibly infectious energy, which  has always been there since their more experimental beginnings, but now with their more high  energy art pop direction it truly seems to shine through. Like a lot of the bands I’ve mentioned,  what draws me to them is their refusal to be pinned down by genre boundaries, and this lack of  confides works very well for them, as every time I see them they seem to have this ability to make  the experimental welcoming for more mainstream crowds, and yet still be intriguing and edgy  enough for fans of more challenging music. They’re absolute masters of winning over any crowd  without seeming like they’re even trying. 

5.Los Blancos. 

One of my absolute favourite Welsh bands that SYBS have had the pleasure of playing with many  times over the years. Whenever I go see them live or listen to their albums I genuinely get this  warm fuzzy feeling that’s like receiving a text from a friend you haven’t heard from in a long time,  or finding photos of an old summer holiday. Iv’e babbled a lot about discarding genre boundaries  in this article but Los Blancos are very much in their indie rock bag, and that suits them JUST fine!  Similar to Guided By Voices, Los Blancos seem to have struck upon this golden formula that they  could probably use to write dozens of albums and songs, each one being the catchiest most  infectious slacker-indie anthem you’ve heard, and you’d never grow tired of listening to. Despite  this, it’d be unfair to suggest they haven’t branched out at all as they have plenty of country rock  experimentation under their belt, as well as venturing into the slightly motorik psych-rock realms  of bands such as Olivia Tremor Control. What I’m trying to say is that Los Blancos have mastered  their domain. They’re the first recommendation I reach for as soon as someone even utters the  word ‘pavement’ because they make ‘indie rock’ sound as fresh and exiting as they did, and still  don’t seem to get as much credit as they deserve! A criminally underrated band that I highly  recommend if you’re lucky enough to be in the position to listen to their music for the first time.


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