Gruff Rhys is a songwriter, producer and BAFTA-winning storyteller from Wales who has consistently sought a variety of outlets for the spectrum of muses behind his creative flights. Formerly known as the frontman of Super Furry Animals – a band that has been able to achieve that rarest of mixes, artistic adventure with popular devotion – he blended fuzz-filed rock, pure harmonies and cutting edge electronics, while with his other guise, Neon Neon, Rhys has documented the lives of maverick car maker John DeLorean and Italian activist and publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli in widescreen style.
With their blissful melodies, his solo records have explored untapped areas lyrically too. His first, 2005’s Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, revelled in Welsh puns; 2014’s American Interior celebrated the unlikely yet influential 18th century explorer John Evans; Babelsberg offered a baroque take on the modern world in 2018; while a year later Pang! created a multi-lingual mash-up, driven by folkish bleeps crafted in collaboration with South African artist-producer Muzi.
However, while all those records certainly explored fresh territory, the Top Ten charting Seeking New Gods climbed lyrically and musically on to totally new terrain, because for his seventh solo record Gruff Rhys created a conceptual record about his own mountain that became his most critically and commercially successful solo album yet.