Self Esteem - Clwb Ifor Bach's Staff Picks For 2021

Clwb Ifor Bach’s Staff Picks For 2021

Clwb Ifor Bach News – 17/12/2021

Over at Clwb Ifor Bach HQ, we’ve decided to put together a list of our favourite albums, artist discoveries, singles, and live events that have taken place in 2021 to help you discover some absolute Gems as we head into 2022.


Skull Never – Sharpie
6 guitars and a trombone. What’s not to love? – Adam


Papur Wal – Arthur
Papur Wal released one of the stand out albums of 2022 and this song in particular stands out to me. I love their lyrics, relaxed way of playing and it’s a fun song and experiencing it live was an absolute treat. – Elan


Ed Dowie – The Obvious I
This song is Ed Dowie doing what Ed Dowie does best, When I saw him play it live at Swn Festival, it made my soul happy and sad at the same time. – George


Flyte – Cathy Come Home
It has an insanely catchy melody in the chorus, with some lovely harmonies and strong subject matter. – Alex


Xiu Xiu & Liz Harris – A Bottle Of Rum
Just the spooky ambient collaboration I’ve waited my whole life for, and they only went and made one of the catchiest indie folk/pop tracks of the year. Infinite replayability. – William


Bredren feat T Man (DLR Remix) – Inferno
Signature DLR spin on an underground classic. – Ffion


Sports Team – Here’s The Thing
Gets you into that vibe of wanting to dance but also trying to sing along but the words are so fast that you have to keep listening to it. It’s a weirdly happy song but the social commentary lyrically totally contrasts that feel-good energy. – Ashley


Hyll – Ar Draws Y Bydysawd
This song is the hook in the new batch of songs that Hyll released in August. I could have picked any song from the EP to be honest – it did an album’s worth of work in under 14 minutes. While the opener, Defnydd Personol saw them bravely experiment with new sounds, Ar Draws Y Bydysawd felt more like what Hyll have been aiming for over the years. The strings are a new addition to the Hyll sound, but it feels natural and right and I can only hope it’ll be a permanent feature. What I’m trying to say is, Hyll are amazing songwriters, this is just one brilliant example to prove it. – Steffan


Aldous Harding – Old Peel
I loved it, bought the 7″ and on there I heard the alternate version, which is golden! – Lucy


Madlib – Road Of The Lonely Ones
– Cai


Remi Wolf – Quiet on Set
– Guto


Bouncy tracks about hummus. Doesn’t sound like Shame so you won’t hear this on 6 music. – Adam


Alice Low
I could go on and on about how special Alice Low is. She is a one of a kind artist, a true show woman and it’s truly remarkable how she can captivate an audience. I can’t wait to see and hear what she does next. – Elan


Kiddus is an artist from Grangetown who has become notorious for their online antics and live show high jinks. Their performances are unpredictable and constantly aim to put the audience on their back foot. They are a complete enigma; at once hilarious, profound, lighthearted, and deep. There is nobody else out there quite like Kiddus! – George


He just has such a range in the type of music he creates, ranging from great folk songs to reviving medieval themes in his songs. – ALEX


The Weather Station
It’s just nice, expertly executed and easy on the ears. Reminds me a lot of Destroyer but with the elegance of someone like Weyes Blood. Favorite track: Heart – William


They’ve had an incredible year and shouldn’t be slept on. –  Ffion


Wolf Alice
Their new album is incredible, each single has been amazing and emotional and anthemic, and live they are just something else. – Ashley


I hate it when bands spell their name in a deliberately awkward way. It makes me want to avoid listening to them. But Will played these in the office a few times, and everytime he’d play them, I’d ask who it was. I feel like it was fate. I must have ignored them a hundred times before, but life’s algorithm will make sure you find these gems, no matter how stubborn you are. Saw them at End of The Road Festival then too and I can confirm that they’re even better live. – Steffan


Josephine Foster 
I started with the album blood rushing, a month later I am still listening to it – it’s been my partner in moving house. – Lucy


Earl Sweatshirt
After the passing of MF DOOM i found similarities between them and instantly fell for it. – Cai


Melin Melyn
– Guto


Cord Galaxy – When We First Met 
An actual massage of the ears. – Adam


Self Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure 
I knew immediately that this was going to be my favourite album of the year when I saw Self Esteem perform in Green Man. The way this album spoke to me and so many other people is truly incredible and is a credit to Rebecca Taylor’s songwriting skills. Watching her perform with her band is a wonderful experience and seeing her live in Clwb will stay with me for a very long time.  – Elan


Mace The Great – MSOTB
At this point, there is no denying I’m a Mace The Great Stan. I have rinsed this album so much that Mace The Great was number 5 in my Spotify wrapped most played artists. Mace represents Cardiff like no other artist out there, and I love him for it! The album was also shortlisted for the Welsh Music Prize. – George


Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Barn
Although it’s fairly new, it’s a superb effort from him, and it’s great to see someone who’s been around for 50 years still producing such a quality album. – Alex


Remi Wolf – JUNO
Never in my life have I heard something more energetic. Pure sugar. – William


Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Stunning, gritty, all of it. Simply a masterpiece. – Ffion


Press To Meco – Transmute 
Absolute monster riffs, a horn section at one point, ridiculously tight harmonies and proper belting tunes. – Ashley


Mogwai – As The Love Continues
A popular streaming service told me that this album has been looping in my ears all year. You can’t argue with the stats. You also can’t argue with the true kings of Scotland. You could say this about every one of their albums – they’re just fucking fantastic aren’t they? – Steffan


Ed Dowie – The Obvious & I
Voice of an angel, I think this album is wonderful – Lucy


Gruff Rhys – Seeking New Gods
– Cai


Little Simz – Sometimes I Might be Introvert
– Guto



Shiny Fitting at Be Yourself Weekender 
A gig. in a coal mine. surrounded by lit up pink flowers. They even did a cover of my favourite song by Toast! – Adam


Breichiau Hir Album Launch at Clwb Ifor Bach
As a Breichiau Hir fan since the age of 15, this album launch gig was always going to be a special evening. But they exceeded all expectations and absolutely floored us all. Hir Oes I’r Cof is an incredible album and hearing it live was amazing. I wish I could do it all again! – Elan


Richard Dawson at Green Man Festival
I’m a big fan so seeing him perform live is always a pleasure, but this was the first live event back since Covid hit. The sun was beaming down on me, I was sat with friends old and new, eating a falafel plater and drinking a cider. – it is those moments I will cherish forever. – George


Alice Low at Sŵn
“It’s rare to witness a performer that has such great stage presence, and the electricity of the performance made this an easy pick for me.” – Alex


Joel Culpepper at Clwb Ifor Bach
The man is charisma in tight trousers. Also the best backing band in the world? Maybe. – William


Break B2B Dillinja B2B S.P.Y at RUN.
Once in a life time set to see and happened by accident due to illnesses. – Ffion


Lynks at Sŵn
Didn’t know what to expect and then a man in a bunny-eared gimp mask came out on stage with backing dancers and put on one of the best live shows I’ve seen all year. Pure unhinged energy, massive massive tunes and just all-around good times. – Ashley


Sugar Horse at The Moon
Before this show, I hadn’t seen Sugar horse live before, and after seeing them, I can confirm that I have never seen anything like them before. Listing the different genres that they encompass won’t do them any justice. They have the sonic power and control of Gods, being able to build beautiful, serene landscapes and flood an entire planet with their wrath, all at a drop of a hat. They’re a unique force that our tiny mortal human brains will never understand, all we can do is let go and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it was.

I saw that someone wanted to start a petition to get them to open on the recently announced The Cure tour in 2022, but I think there should be a petition to have The Cure open for them. – Steffan


Richard Dawson at End Of The Road
Sunday night on the garden stage – it was epic and beautiful – Lucy


Self Esteem at Green Man 
– Guto


Fontaines DC at Cardiff SU
– Cai