Loveless Unbeliever

Score: 99

I find it ironic that Loveless Unbeliever, the debut LP from The School, begins “An apology for today, an apology for a lifetime”, because I feel I owe them an apology. I recently discovered that, in my first posts about them (over a year ago, now), I called The School “twee”. I was young and new to this business, but now that I know better, it is only fair that I admit my mistake.

There’s more to The School than twee, of course. They’ve carved out a niche in that sliver of sixties throwback between Camera Obscura and The Pipettes—and what a home they’ve made there! For my money, no one embodies the golden age of pop music better than the kids from Cardiff. Loveless Unbeliever is replete with all the memorable hooks, striking melodies, and tasteful orchestrations, and Liz Hunt’s vocals are nothing short of intoxicating—I still get chills every time I listen to “I don’t believe in love” (also featuring former drummer Rob, now of Voluntary Butler Scheme).

The long-awaited LP includes most of The School’s hard-to-find early material (it’s missing Christmasy songs, including my favorite “Kiss you in the snow”, and “And Suddenly”, a Left Banke cover). And it’s a good thing the old releases have been included, because amongst them are some of the band’s best songs, such as: “Let it slip” which is essentially a perfect pop song, and “I don’t believe in love”, with a melody as sweeping as the lyrics are heartbreaking. And, lest you get the impression that this is an album built on the strength of recycled material, the seven new songs are every bit as memorable as the old stuff. The first single, “Is he really coming home”, picks up right where the Let It Slip EP left off, whilst “Can’t understand” and “Hoping and praying”are two of the most unabashedly fun tracks on the album.

Loveless Unbeliever has been a long time coming. The School were signed to Elefant Records in 2007. In the meantime, there have been some lineup changes and a quite a fuss over their early EP and singles—no doubt all contributing factors to the long wait for this album. Then again, maybe that’s just how long it takes when you set out produce an “album…full of pop hits”. Regardless, there is no filler on Loveless Unbeliever, only 37 minutes perfect indie pop that will spend weeks at a time in your stereo (personally, I’ve just reached the one month mark). Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another three years for The School’s next LP, but, if it’s even half as good as this one, it will have been well worth the wait.

[For more, read our interview with The School]


It’s about time you heard of The Joy Formidable

A Balloon Called MoaningScore: 93

I’ve owned The Joy Formidable‘s debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, for over a year now. Since then, I’ve embarked on monthly TJF listening binges, lasting up to a week at a time. So why have I waited this long to review one of my favorite albums of 2009? Throughout the year, it was only available to the Brits, Japanese, and savvy blog-lurkers with PayPal accounts (and they’d already heard the good news). But the EP has finally been set for an American release on May 4 (Black Bell), and it’s time the rest of these kids got educated.

It’s not fair to call A Balloon Called Moaning a “grower”, implying that, at some point in the past, I didn’t like it so much. If anything, it is the sort of monstrosity that evolves from great to phenomenal. I admit, there were times when I didn’t fully comprehend the genius of The Joy Formidable. I thought the opener, “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade”, was ok, but long and boring—that is, I did, until one day last summer, when it emerged from my subconscious (much like it does on the record) and planted itself at the forefront of my mind until I listened to it half a dozen times to satisfy my craving.

One of the great things about TJF is that they are a band that works on multiple levels. Constantly swirling among a sea of shoegaze fuzz is an innate pop sensibility, always melodic but never overbearing. Though other reviewers have suggested it, I think it would be a mistake (and contrary to their nature) to push the pop too far to the front. As it stands you could power most of North Wales with the amount of energy expended in any given TJF performance—a trait apparent in their live shows and recordings as well as select tracks at the heart of A Balloon Called Moaning.

So while A Balloon Called Moaning will make pleasant surface listening for most any shoegaze or dream pop fan, it is with more focused listening that the music really begins to shimmer in all it’s fuzzy brilliance. Listen, for instance, to the half-step guitar dissonances in the second verse and the double kick drum underlying the post-chorus (around 2:45) of “The Greatest Light…”. That moment comes across as the climax of the song until the final 45 seconds, with vocalist Ritzy Bryan repeating “happy for you”, propels the listener into a relentless four-song barrage including the EP’s three pitch perfect singles (“Cradle”, “Austere”, and “Whirring”) and the obsession-worthy “While the Flies”. The downtempo (and down-volume) “9669” offers a welcome respite before the band flip the fuzz pedal switch and unleash their final two tracks: the high-octane “The Last Drop” and “Ostrich” (which is as shoegaze-y as this band gets).

About a year ago, when I first suggested people keep an eye on North Wales-via-London power fuzz trio, The Joy Formidable, there were mixed reactions: our British constituency agreed; a good portion of the Americans were pissed that we were ignoring the great Grizzly Bear and stopped reading. Since then, they have toured with Editors and Passion Pit, played sold out shows in NYC, and are preparing a short US tour in early May (with a full-length album waiting in the wings). For those who have stuck with us over the last year, no doubt you’re not surprised by this. If you’re just now condescending to give us a second look, welcome back, hipsters! You’ve a lot of catching up to do.

Little My just a little while longer…

Little My's Ninth

It’s unfortunate that I came upon Little My too late in the game to amass the Collected Works along with the rest of you. Their plan to release a song beginning with each letter of the alphabet before disbanding is quickly coming to an end. To further complicate things, hard copies of most of their releases are now sold out, so backfilling isn’t even an option. Learn from my mistakes, kids.

The band, ablaze with some of the brightest lights of the brilliant Cardiff indie scene (this time including members of The School, Silence at Sea, and Gindrinker), is set to release their penultimate project, Little My’s Ninth on Monday, 22 February. This time round, the EP is available for preorder from Bubblewrap Collective (remember their stellar 12 Days of Christmas compilation?). However, if downloads are your thing, those will be available from most major distributors in late March.

Clocking in at just under 12 minutes, these four tweegaze pop gems (emphasis on the twee) feature the cheery melodies and often cynical lyrics you’ve come to expect from Little My. “Bears in the Air” is a good example of this, though my favourite track, “Upsticks & Carry On”, is a straight up boy/girl quirky ukulele tune (“Hey, which planet are you on now a million miles away? / I’ll use gravity and satellites to make you stay”).

This is one EP not to be missed, though I would recommend getting your hands on one soon, as only 200 copies will be made and few are likely to be left when the band play their last show in Cardiff next month (9 March).

A Switched On Christmas Spectacular

I love Christmas. What’s not to love (even though the fact that half the world celebrates it in the summer kinda freaks me out)? It’s the month leading up to it that I’m not so keen on. Sure, December has its good points, like Starbucks red holiday cups and the incomparable scent of winter (again, with the exception of that freakshow Southern Hemisphere). But, let’s face it, December comes with a lot of crap, too, like traffic, huge crowds, and the incomparable cold of winter (except for you know who). By far, however, the worst facet of the Christmas season is the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas music. What I absolutely hate is the effect it has on musicians, namely the “I’m bored, let’s make a Christmas album” attitude. Cases in point: Newsong’s “The Christmas Shoes” and Bob Dylan’s new Christmas album.

No, it’s been a decade since I’ve come across a Christmas album that delivers consistently from start to finish (it was BEC Records’ Happy Christmas volume 1, feat. a young Switchfoot, Starflyer 59, and Five Iron Frenzy, among others). This year, thankfully, has been different. There are a number of promising collections circulating right now. Here are two of them.

The Cardiff-based Bubblewrap Collective has put out a collection that is in some shops this week and ought to be for sale at Rough Trade in London sometime next week. The concept is quite clever, I must say. Twelve artists were given 31 days to write and record a song based on one of the twelve days of Christmas. The result is a varied landscape of often lo-fi, stripped-down indie goodness where ukuleles and glockenspiels (and everything else, really) flourish with an impressive line-up including: The School, Little My, Allo Darlin’, and The Bobby McGees.

Our old friends and Indie Handbook favourites, The School (who are included on a couple of other Christmas comps this season which, if we can get our hands on copies, we will also review for you) have the twelfth day (for those who, like me, don’t have the attention span to make it through the entire song, that’s drummers drumming). And they execute their share of the festivities brilliantly with the handclappy C86 ditty “Drummer Boy”. Brontosaurus Chorus, on “Calling Birds” (that’s the fourth day), manage to pull off what may be the single greatest line in the history of Christmas music: “Christmas is a time for excessive drinking”.

On the lighter side are “Five Golden Rings from the Hi 5 Kings” by The Rocky Nest (including a heartbreaking muted trumpet refrain between otherworldly vocal performances) and Allo Darlin’ with the ukulele-laden “Silver Swans in NYC”. Then there’s the relentlessly charming “Lords Keep Leaping” by Silence at Sea, complete with injected sound effects. I’m going to have to stop myself there, because I’ve got another album to talk about. You’ll just have to check out the other seven days on your own.

Venus Hum’s Switched on Christmas EP (get it here for free) is something completely different from the 12 Days compilation. Rather than a set of entirely new songs, Venus Hum have embraced the spirit of reinterpretation championed by artists like Wendy (née Walter) Carlos on such albums as Switched on Bach and Switched on Brandenburgs. (Once upon a time, the traditionalist in me cringed at the thought of such an atrocity. The post-structuralist in me has since destroyed that aesthetic neophyte.)

Certain tracks on this EP, like “Suzy Snowflake” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” translate naturally into such an electrified idiom. Even before listening, the concept is a welcome change. Ballads like “Silver Bells” also sync easily with the band’s dreamy electropop aesthetic, as a sort of hybrid of their first two albums (though it’s more Big Beautiful Sky than The Colors In the Wheel). On the opener, “Let It Snow”, Annette Strean’s vocals have been assimilated into the network and “switched on” along with a seemingly endless array of computers, synths, and processors to dazzling and (aurally) sparkling effect.

Going in, however, I had my doubts about how even one of my all-time favorite bands would adapt two of my favorite seasonal numbers. There is, of course, the classic “The Christmas Song”, penned by Mel Tormé, immortalized by Nat “King” Cole, here given a tastefully switched on treatment, with a bit of ambient crackling tacked on in the opening for good measure. In the cases of electro-programming wizards Kip Kubin and Tony Miracle, it is their sensitivity and, more importantly, ability to hold back that render “The Christmas Song” not only passable, but one of two “must hear” tracks on the EP. The other being “Silent Night”.

Now, about that “Silent Night”. It’s come a long way since Christmas Eve of 1818 and the debut performance (for voice and guitar) at Nikolaus-Kirche in Oberndorf, Austria. But it’s still one of those songs I prefer un-fooled-around with. Sometimes (ok, oftentimes) it’s easy to question if all of the “progress” we as human beings have made in the last 191 years, has really left us any better off or if we’ve regressed, and those really were the “good old days”. Maybe we really have sucked the world dry of all the beautiful things. Venus Hum’s take on this, perhaps quintessential, musical rendering of the birth of Christ is humbly trippy and sufficiently glitchy (just like we are), but the sound of Annette’s voice floating just over top of it leaves me with the sense (and hope) that there just may be some goodness left in the world.

Sleep in Heavenly peace”? Yes, thank you. I believe I shall.

A Sundbergian sliver of daylight

Photo by Alison Wonderland
Photo by Alison Wonderland

I know, I’ve been talking about this for a long time (here, for instance, and here, and here) and, before you ask, no, it’s not here quite yet. The School’s debut LP, Loveless Unbeliever, is slated for release in October, so you have still a couple of months to wait (for you Druids out there, that’s one autumnal equinox – two full moons for you werewolves). But far be it for me to go more than 45 seconds without thinking of my favourite Welsh pop purveyors or the album which is quickly becoming the most exciting thing to happen in 2009 (and it hasn’t even happened yet!).

Thankfully, for those like me, suffering – willfully, faithfully – from twee fever, The School have preempted their LP with the release of a split 7” (Searching for the Now 6) on Slumberland Records this week (the School take the A side with two tracks from George Washington Brown, the latest nom de rock of Pete Gofton, Kenickie’s Johnny X, on the flipside). Of course, if you’ve taken my advice in the past and visited The School on MySpace, you will recognise their cover of Left Banke’s ‘And Suddenly’. The School are perfectly equipped to pay homage to these pioneers of baroque pop with their uncanny evocation of the 1960s girl group sound with a pinch of C86 and just a dash of Camera Obscura. The performance is so well executed, in fact, that it is difficult believe that this is a cover song at all and even more difficult, still, to stop listening. When you’ve had a month like I have, this is the music that keeps you alive; listen to it about a dozen times, and suddenly, the world is full of sunshine.

You ought to know, however, that this song will not be on the album. This is the only release planned for this track (except for the B-sides and rarities collection bound to be compiled in about a decade in celebration of the band’s inevitably illustrious career). And, as if that is not enough of a reason to entice you to open your pocketbook, there are two tracks (‘End of the…’ and ‘Twin Towers’) by George Washington Brown on the B-side. No, he is not likely to be mistaken for The Angels or Shelley Fabares, but is still well worth your attention. So check it out on the Slumberland page. You will not regret it, because, as I’ve said before, at any given moment, The School are reminiscent of everything that you love about music.

Kristin is taking a week off.

Yesterday was Kristin’s birthday and because she is my friend and I have been slacking off lately, I suggested she take the week off. (Also, I am too cheap to buy her a real present.) Sorry folks, you’re stuck with me for the week, but at least you’ll get a brief respite on Wednesday, because I have another guest submission from Dan Holloway. I guess every cloud really does have a silver lining.

But wait, it gets worse. I have been crazy busy lately: the Dublin Irish Festival last weekend followed almost immediately by four and a half days out of town (that’s a lot of hours in my car and even more scones). Consequently, I have had very little time to explore and have been listening almost exclusively to Julie Fowlis, Tilly & the Wall, and the Pipettes. (In the process, I learned a beautiful Scots lullaby, which I will be happy to sing to you, if you are a girl.) So, unless you really want to hear more about one of those artists, you will have to content yourself with the news contained in this article.

In case any of you actually expressed interest in the initial clause of that last sentence, you may be interested to know that Rose Elinor Dougall, formerly Rosay of the Pipettes, is in the process of releasing her second single as a solo artist, with plans to put out a full LP some time in 2010. Also, Gwenno Saunders, currently of the Pipettes, had some success with Welsh and Cornish language electropop before joining the band.

Word from Cardiff is that The School are in post production of their debut LP. Mastering and production work were completed on Wednesday. From what I hear, all that is left to work out are the singles, artwork, and that sort of thing, hopefully to be completed in time for an October release.

Not to mention, we are but a fortnight removed from Fun’s Aim and Ignite and Imogen Heap’s Ellipse. Of course, you knew that already. What you may not know is that you can stream Aim and Ignite on MySpace right now.

Even more pressing, however, is the imminent release of the new album, Silent City (featuring Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie “Prince” Billy, on three tracks), by Columbus, Ohio’s own Brian Harnetty. That is, it comes out tomorrow. For you locals, there is a release party at Rumba on Friday. Super Desserts will also be playing. I’ve heard Brian perform once before, in a local used record store. It was a low-key affair, but I was transfixed. He is Paste’s “Artist of the Week“, and deservedly so.

I have a headache

Why don’t these drafts save themselves?  Then, when 10000 people are trying to talk to you on Facebook, and you are trying to write, and every time a new person says something to you the stupid post tries to delete itself, it won’t succeed, because it will be saved.  But no, I write half a post and the freaking thing deletes itself.  It was a nice post too, and I was actually trying, despite the fact that I am tired and lazy and I have plans with my sister tonight.  So forgive me, but I’m feeling a bit…spastic.

Anyway, its faibw, and that means follow an indie band wednesday, or maybe it can mean other things if you want it to.  Whatever, people, it’s your world and it’s the internet, so it’s whatever the crap you want it to be.  Freedom.

Here is your first band: The Quelle Source.  I don’t actually have to say anything about this band because they have French in their name, and therefore their goodness speaks for itself.  Wait, it isn’t French.  It’s German.  But seriously, I have some trouble with languages, like when I thought “Dance Serene” by The Hard to Get had French in it but it was actually Portugese and then I just felt silly because oh good lord, I took a few semesters of French and really should be able to decipher these things, but you know, this is just proof that I need to stop working and start learning because every day that I stare at a computer screen and answer phones, my brains are withering away to dust and they will fall out of my ears and cover the ground and become one with the earth.  I guess that’s not so bad.  Anyway, The  Quelle Source is a bit more emo than we are usually discussing, but they aren’t actually emo, I’m just trying to give you some sort of context (and failing, I admit it).  Maybe this is better–the first time I listened to them, they reminded me of Guster’s Ruby Falls, and now I am starting to hear differences (like when you see someone for the first time and they remind you of someone else you know but the more you get to know them, the more you’re like, actually they don’t look like that person at all).  The lead singer’s voice kind of sounds like Adam Gardner though.  Anyway, I don’t know, listen to “Onna’s Lullaby” because it is beautiful.

[this is where I hit “save draft” so I don’t lose it again]

[holy crap you are not going to believe this–it happened again–thank god i saved it]

I have a lot to say about this next band.  Toy Horses, hello, I am not only going to talk about your music (shocker) but I am also going to ask a favor of you.  When I was in Wales for a weekend during my semester in London (these guys are from Cardiff!), I was supposed to make it to Cardiff and I did not.  The reason I did not make it is because I was horseback riding (umm, ponyback riding?) somewhere in the middle of Caerphilly and Cardiff, and I fell off, and I had to spend 3 (THREE!) nights in a Welsh hospital because I broke my wrist and had to get surgery, and I am even debating uploading a picture of myself with my bright pink cast and/or just a picture of my badass scar to prove it, but right now I think that is kind of a weird idea.  Maybe I’ll put it on Facebook, only for our fans.  Anyway, I think it is interesting that you are from Wales and your name is Toy Horses and I am just wondering if maybe you could somehow make it up to me, for instance, can I come hang out with you in Wales?  I’m done talking in second person now, and I will talk about music.  Muchos gracias.  Merci beaucoup.  Love, Kristin.   But seriously (not that that wasn’t serious), Toy Horses is fantastic.  Quirky but radio-friendly indie pop…”uke-fuelled,” which is never a bad thing.  The lyrics are lovely and charming, and the acoustic style is, well, just what I like.  “Last Chance” is probably my favorite.  Because I’m a bit of a sap.

Finally we have Essay Like Nephew.  Essay Like Nephew is wonderfully chill, a smidge ethereal, and at one point I was like, hmm he sounds like Alan Rickman (at least on “China Pop”) and while let’s be honest, have you ever heard anyone who sounds like Alan Rickman?, he’s got a really fantastic voice.  I appreciate the quirky lyrics and the folk influence, and also the free downloads!  This is definitely a talented group.  Go get you some free music.

Well, I know this is full of more stories and random bullcrap than you ever wanted, but seriously, listen to these bands and don’t read my ridiculous writing.  You should read Eric’s last post, though.

I’m living in the future again

I am so tired. I was up until 3:30 this morning writing a review and then back up for work at 8:00. And I have to host a dinner party Saturday evening, so you will forgive me if I choose the path of least resistance and discuss a few albums that I am looking forward to, rather than delve into completely uncharted territory. Back in January, Under the Radar Magazine printed a list of about 25 of the most anticipated indie releases of 2009. I was anticipating 4 of them and they have all been unleashed. These four were not mentioned. They are nothing less than subterranean.

Little Birdie Storybook (more of an idea, really) – Little Birdie Storybook is Becca Kreutz who writes some of the most charming and enchanting songs you will ever hear. All that exists at the moment is a handful of demos on her MySpace page, recorded at home in one take on an out-of-tune piano, but she will be heading into the studio to have another go at them. To be honest, I am going to miss those blue notes. You Regina Spektor fans will enjoy this, though Little Birdie Storybook is pretty much impossible to dislike. I think I am looking forward to this one the most. You will be hearing a lot more from me on this topic in the months to come. In the meantime, listen to the demos. You can find the lyrics here.

FunAim & Ignite (23 August) – Fun is the name of the band. The name is nearly as pretentious as that of French rockers Rock and Roll, but it is entirely appropriate. I caught their set in support of Manchester Orchestra, and I can say without reservation that they have earned the name. Stylistically, they fall somewhere between Queen and Mika. The release date for Aim & Ignite was up in the air for a while, but it now stands at 25 August. I know what I’ll be doing that day. For now you can check out their MySpace where you can pick up a free download of “At least I’m not as sad as I used to be” which you can also stream on Facebook (where you can also become a fan of The Indie Handbook). If you want more, catch one of the few remaining dates with Manchester Orchestra.

The School, (title and release date TBA) – This one is still in the works. They went into the studio to begin work a few weeks ago. If you’ve been following us for a while, you already know how much I love this band and for your sake I will tell everyone else to read this. Needless to say, I am pumped. I may have to go to Cardiff to thank them in person. You are all more than welcome to join me.

Venus Hum, (also TBA) – I mentioned this on the Facebook page a couple of days ago. It’s been three years since their last studio album, The Colors In the Wheel, which included one of my favorite songs ever, “Pink Champaign” (I will post the video below). Finally, they are back in the studio. Annette Strean has one of the most striking voices I have ever heard and backed by multi instrumentalists Kip Kubin and Tony Miracle, they have produced enduringly appealing albums in my music library. I’ve been listening to Big Beautiful Sky all week. You can track the progress of the recording and here a few samples (which may or may not end up on the record) at the band’s blog here. (Ok, I am adding a live version of “Yes and No” because the band are actually in it.)

Another record you can’t buy here, or “Why I am the indiest of them all”

New album from Nina Persson’s other band A Camp today. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’m still excited.

In light of the admittedly surprising success of Dutch Week, we will probably have to sponsor a Welsh Week sometime soon. I swear, this has nothing to do with the fact that I have a weakness for Welsh accents or that if I were ever fortunate enough to meet a woman who spoke with one that she could have me do her bidding with the mere utterance of a few words. Nor has it to do with the fact that Hay-on-Wye is reputed to have more bookshops per capita than any other municipality in the world (be still my heart!) or that Doctor Who and Torchwood are filmed in Cardiff (David Tennant!!!). It’s just that they make so much good music. (Ok, so maybe it is a little bit about the accents.) But can you blame me? Based on that description, it sounds like Heaven on Earth.

For now, we’ll stick with one band (the Handbook’s second Welsh act to date), Cardiff’s 60s pop throwbacks, The School. Put simply, the band are, at any given moment, reminiscent of everything you love about music. “Let It Slip”, with its handclaps and shoop-pop background vocals has the distinct ring of the early 60s girl groups (The Angels, Shelley Fabares). “And Suddenly”, a cover of a Left Banke song, is layered with Beach Boys-like harmonies. “I Want You Back” is the School at their Belle & Sebastianiest, reminiscent of the indie idols’ Dear Catastrophe Waitress era brand of tweeness with a hint of Camera Obscura. And “Kiss You In the Snow” would make a perfect centerpiece for an Indie Handbook Christmas compilation (if we were ever allowed to make one). I love love love this song. All of this is executed with a dash of Northern Soul and maybe even a hint of Glaswegian C86.

The albums. There is a 7-inch on bubble gum pink vinyl and another four track EP. “All I Wanna Do” was also included on the Rough Trade Counter Culture 08 compilation released back in February. So, there you go, three more reasons to resent the hip hop dominated American music scene and the skinny jeans indie hipster counterculture.

Visit them at and on Twitter and, of course, on MySpace. Seriously guys, you need to listen to this one, or we will never be friends.

P.S. How amazing would it be if we were allowed to make a Christmas compilation?! I am totally serious about this. Write your MP! Pester your congressman! Beg your favorite band (the nice ones, anyway)!

Talk about a Joy Formidable

First off, The Indie Handbook is now on Twitter. So go, sign on and follow us. We will let you know every time we find something cool. Every time. (This is sanctioned stalking, you won’t get many opportunities like this.) (mind the alternate spelling)

Now, there is one band that we two are particularly jazzed about (well, I think Kristin is jazzed, she introduced me to them, I am positively giddy):

The Joy Formidable.

You will likely read several posts about them in the future because I am delerious with, well, joy over this band. Their album A Balloon Called Moaning (in clever poster packaging) has been out for a few months and, around 5:07 on any given weekday afternoon, you can expect to find me stuck in traffic, blasting “Cradle” or “Austere” with the windows down. I will eventually have a review of the album for you, once I can decipher the lyrics.

I received word today, however, that their third single, “Whirring”, will be out 25 May on 7″ vinyl. The single (along with some nice extras) is available for pre-order now. I’ve placed my order. You had best do the same, the first two singles sold out, I believe. You can watch the official video for “Whirring” (which is brilliant) on the band’s MySpace or their YouTube channel, but here is a live performance I am particularly fond of. I once went to a Los Campesinos! show that ended like this. It must be a Welsh thing. I love the Welsh.