The Welsh indie-pop band provide the first glimpse of the band’s long-awaited, self-titled second album, SŴNAMII.

Rising Welsh band SŴNAMII is ready to blow our minds with their second album, SŴNAMII. Set for release on December 2nd, the album features 11 tracks that explore the chaos of being in your 20s through themes of relationships, grief, escapism, and self discovery. The concept of the album centers around entering different rooms in a dystopian hotel, and each song is a unique experience that showcases the band’s electronic riffs, pounding drums, and ethereal synths. From the album’s opening track, “Theatr,” to the new single “Wyt Ti’n Clywed,” “SŴNAMI” is an emotional rollercoaster that takes us on a journey through the band’s experiences over the past five years. SŴNAMII has been making waves in the Welsh music scene since their 2015 self-titled debut, and SŴNAMII is set to take their sound to new heights.

Head below to find out more…

Hey, how are you? Where are we speaking to you from?
Gruff: Hiya! We’re all spread out across the country. Ifan Ywain and I are based in Cardiff. The rest are up in the north. I’m a Sound Editor by day, so working on different sounds in the studio.
Ifan Davies: Good, thanks! Currently prepping for a Radio 1 Show I’ll be presenting over the Christmas holidays. I’m excited and nervous as usual!

What inspired the creation of your second album, SŴNAMI?
Gruff: After our first album. I was obsessed with trying to recreate the sound we already had. It was quite draining, and we kept going around in circles. It wasn’t healthy, so we took a break from songwriting. It was quite challenging
Ifan: Taking that break and living our lives inspired what came to be SŴNAMI. Life can be lame and mundane. But it can also be euphoric, exciting, traumatic and chaotic at times.

What themes and ideas do you explore with the album?
Ifan Davies: The album is a concept album, a diary, a notation of our memories and experiences. I feel like we’re in this constant state of transition, ever-changing, as a band but also as people. Hotel Swnami in the artwork represents the moment we decided to take a step back, look back, consider our past, and determine what our future will hold. We’re at an age where we feel too old to be fresh, but too young to be old and wise, So we’ve touched on living in a fantasy and nostalgia.
Gruff: The songs are mostly inspired by real-life events, It expresses grief, Anxiety, and Escapism. Feelings and themes that I’m sure plenty of people can relate to. I used a lot of the songwriting sessions as a form of group therapy dealing with trauma, and i hope that anyone who listens to the album, who’s going through something similar, doesn’t feel hopeless or alone. I lost someone very close to me during lockdown, and with “Paradis Disparu”, we tried to process those emotions through songwriting. That feeling of never ending grief when someone vanishes from your life, but also the hope that you can carry on and prevail.

How does this album build upon your previous work and musical style?
Ifan: The sound has matured somewhat, and this album is closer to what Swnami has wanted to sound like.
Gruff: We’ve become a lot more open to being vulnerable with our songwriting. And this time round, we tried creating a sound palette that would match the themes of the lyrics. I find the sounds and the sonic palette can tell me more about the deeper message of a song, and that’s what we’ve tried to do with this album. For example, “Be Bynnag Fydd” is a song about being open and understanding my gender identity; therefore, we were keen on recreating that feeling of euphoria in the song through its sound.
Ifan: We’re more confident in ourselves and how things turned out to sound. There’s a lot more sampling in this and a lot of synths. On our first album, most songs were written around a guitar riff, whereas this album was almost exclusively inspired by sounds and
samples we created. I think the snare drum on Paradis was actually a Frying pan hit that we messed about with!

Can you share any memorable moments from the recording of the album?
Ifan D: During the lockdown, I had to record a lot of the vocals at home in a makeshift bedroom studio. It wasn’t ideal, but most of takes that i recorded under a faithful sleeping bag are those that we kept on some of the tracks.
Gruff: We spent a week in a remote studio in Machynlleth. It sounds very isolating, but it was actually quite the opposite. When we make songs we tend to write them on our own as we live quite far away from each other, and finish them off in the studio. Having everyone in one room together felt much more like a collaborative process. That, and the fact there was no signal, made it a very productive week!

Can you describe the vibe of SŴNAMII in three words?
Rough, Synthpop, Welsh.

If you could perform at any iconic venue, where would it be?
Ifan D: The Paradiso, in Amsterdam. We had the pleasure of playing at Eurosonic festival a few years ago, and we stopped by the city on the way home to play in the Concerto Record Store.. Such a beautiful and vibrant city. We’d love to go back.

Can you talk about the significance of the album’s title and artwork?
Ifan D: We fretted for a while on what the title could be, what special significant phrases would work for the album, Swnam(II) started off as a joke title, But in the end, as it felt like a progression from the first album, calling it Swnam(II) just made sense!
Gruff: The first draft of the artwork came in almost 2 years before we’d even finished some of the songs! Gruff Ywain is our Graphic Designer, he’s practically the 6th member of the band. The motel has 11 rooms. A different room for each song, each holding its own reality. You can check in on our website. Please enjoy your stay(!)

Are there any particular tracks on the album that you are particularly proud of or that have a special meaning to you?
Gruff: All of them is the logical answer, right?
In all honesty, I think it’s Anghyfarwydd Haul (featuring Welsh Singer Thallo). It started off as quite a dark and moody beat, and it’s blossomed into an uplifting bittersweet track that fits well with the narrative of what we wanted to say. Working with Thallo on this one was a privilege as well.

What do you want fans to know about your upcoming work?
I hope you’re ready to listen to some sad bangers!
What do you hope to achieve with your music in the future?
Gruff: I hope that people can feel something when they listen to our music. I hope that people will resonate it with it emotionally. And i hope that can transcend the language barrier as well. And most importantly, it’ll make people dance.

Can you share any upcoming projects or collaborations that have you really excited?
Ifan: We’ve all got very busy schedules so we are only looking to do a couple of gigs, and make sure those gigs are constructed and arranged properly!
we’re continuously working on releasing more music – we’ve got about 12 new songs in progress now, as well as music videos and other exciting things

Lastly, what are your hopes and dreams for 2023?
Gruff: Keep making music, Keep creating music as a creative and emotional outlet, and hopefully inspire more people to listen to Welsh Language Music. There’s so much good music coming out of Wales at the moment!


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