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Bill Ryder-Jones - Iechyd Da (Album Review)

Tuesday, 16 January 2024 Written by Issy Herring

Photo: Marieke Macklon

Bill Ryder-Jones has come a long way from being recognised chiefly as The Coral’s lead guitarist. Since leaving the psych-rock band in 2008, he has fashioned a diverse, exciting solo career that, thanks to the patchy ‘Iechyd Da’, now runs to five albums. 

At its best, this is possibly Ryder-Jones’s most refined work to date. Throughout, his vocal performance provides a sense of intimacy that is both comforting and reassuring, almost lulling us into a temporary hallucination. On the opener I Know That It’s Like This (Baby), that dynamic is beautifully paired with heartfelt, honest lyrics. “I'll never be enough for you, I know,” he sings.

The follow up A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart Pt. 3 is also mightily effective while offering a complete contrast in terms of its overall performance.

Ryder-Jones almost buckles with emotion as he admits, “So you’re lonely then, as that’s when I hear from you, seems like you’re a user too.” 

Delve deeper into ‘Iechyd Da’, though, and these hits become harder to come by. We Don’t Need Them and If Tomorrow Starts Without Me lack immediacy, while I Hold Something In My Hand and This Can’t Go On are total snoozefests. And The Sea is an overlong, murmured mess.

‘Iechyd Da’ is much more enjoyable when Ryder-Jones is at his most raw and profound. Christinha points the ship in the right direction, talking frankly about the agonising loss of his ex-lover. Furthermore, How Beautiful I Am is charming and whimsical yet candid. 

At its finest, ‘Iechyd Da’ is an impeccable and delicate audiobook full of Ryder-Jones' life stories, which are immensely relatable. He possesses a distinctive way of drawing us in and, even if our attention eventually wanders, that’s quite a talent.

Bill Ryder Jones Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue March 12 2024 - GLASGOW Room 2
Wed March 13 2024 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Fri March 15 2024 - BIRMINGHAM Castle and Falcon
Sat March 16 2024 - MANCHESTER New Century
Sun March 17 2024 - BRISTOL Thekla
Mon March 18 2024 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Tue March 19 2024 - BRIGHTON Chalk
Wed March 20 2024 - LONDON Islington Assembly Hall
Thu March 21 2024 - LIVERPOOL Content
Sat March 30 2024 - DUBLIN Workmans Club
Sun March 31 2024 - BELFAST Black Box

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Thu 11 Jan 2024
Bill Ryder-Jones Shares New Track I Hold Something In My Hand Ahead Of 'Iechyd Da' Release
Wed 20 Sep 2023
Bill Ryder-Jones Announces Fifth Album 'Iechyd Da', Shares New Single This Can't Go On
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