“Yn Byw a Bod”: Welsh Band WRKHOUSE Come Alive on Debut EP ‘Out of the Blue,’ a Dreamy, Exhilarating Indie Rock Reverie

WRKHOUSE © Cara Kealy
WRKHOUSE © Cara Kealy
Emboldened and reborn, Welsh indie rock band WRKHOUSE (formerly Lewys) take us track-by-track through their exhilarating debut EP ‘Out of the Blue,’ a dreamy, impassioned reverie that hits hard and leaves a lasting mark.
for fans of The 1975, Tame Impala, Catfish and the Bottlemen
Stream: “Getaway” – WRKHOUSE




Look at yourself, living and being,” WRKHOUSE’s Lewys Meredydd Siencyn sings at the start of his band’s debut EP.

It’s a dramatic, provocative entrance, and one made all the more powerful due to the fact that he’s not speaking in English, but rather, in his native Welsh: “Drycha ar dy hun / Yn byw a bod.” In their first ten seconds, WRKHOUSE emphatically assert their identity, embrace their heritage, and dazzle the ears with stunningly warm harmonies; it’s an instantly memorable introduction, and one that hits hard from the start. “Tria beidio gwastraffu amser / Paid aros am dy dro / Ti’n gafael rhy dynn,” Siencyn continues:  Try not to waste time, don’t wait for your turn, you’re holding on too tight.

And just like that, WRKHOUSE have us hooked for this, their enchanting, exhilarating “next chapter.” Formerly making all-Welsh music under the name Lewys, the four-piece of Siencyn, Gethin Meilir Elis, Iestyn Jones, and Ioan Bryn reintroduced themselves as WRKHOUSE this past February, rebranding with a cool, sleek sound and – most notably – a bilingual identity, with a wee bit o’ English slipping into what was once an exclusively Welsh output.

Out of the Blue - WRKHOUSE
Out of the Blue – WRKHOUSE

The result isn’t so much a transformation, as it is an expansion: WRKHOUSE’s English-language songs inherently allow its members to reach a much broader audience than ever before (the Welsh government estimates there to be nearly 1 million Welsh speakers in the world, compared to an estimated 1.46 billion English speakers), all while they continue to lean into the cultural roots that made them who they are today both as individuals and as a unit. The band sound emboldened and reborn on Out of the Blue, a dreamy, impassioned indie rock reverie that hits hard and leaves a lasting mark.

Independently released April 5, 2024, Out of the Blue is as intimate as it is all-consuming. Striking a balance between the suave indie pop stylings of mid-2010s-era The 1975, the fiery churn of fellow Welsh rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen, and the more colorful, ethereal aesthetics of Tame Impala, WRKHOUSE make music that moves the body and soul in tandem. Their first two singles “Getaway” and “Snow” (EP tracks three and five, respectively) highlight their penchant for building vast worlds of warmth and wonder, with rich melodies, big hooks, and thought-provoking lyrics making for an engaging, enriching listening experience through and through.

WRKHOUSE © Cara Kealy
WRKHOUSE © Cara Kealy

The full EP fulfills on the promise of its singles, with the songs “Byw a Bod,” “Time Again,” and title track “Out of the Blue” rounding out the record while adding several more chills and thrills to WRKHOUSE’s immersive, enthralling repertoire.

The band describe this EP as a culmination of their collective sonic journey – one that boasts a “nostalgic atmosphere and a touch of home”; essentially, Lewys had to walk so that WRKHOUSE could run. Collaborating with producers Steffan Pringle, Mark Gardener and Ed Al-Shakarchi, the Welsh group held nothing back in creating a definitive debut – something they can all proudly stand by as their musical reintroduction to the world.

Speaking to Atwood Magazine, Siencyn shares some of the band’s vision for this EP: “At this point (2023), we began spreading textural ‘easter eggs’ that bridged themes across the tracks,” he explains. “Voice notes of Gethin’s grandmother’s piano, recordings of the Wnion river in Dolgellau repurposed into pads, creaks and knocks from our childhood homes… they all add to the nostalgic atmosphere we’re trying to evoke in these songs.”

“I was obsessed at the time with electronic artists who blur the lines between the organic and otherworldly – the likes of Floating Points and Ross From Friends – and wanted to incorporate these half-real sounds into the band’s music.”

WRKHOUSE © Cara Kealy
WRKHOUSE © Cara Kealy

Fellow British bands like Glass Animals have gone to No. 1 on both sides of the Atlantic through this special production technique – of taking sonic snippets from “real life” and incorporating them into their art. With time, WRKHOUSE may very well do the same; Out of the Blue is the beginning of a promising, provocative artistry that has already found its footing, and is ready to share its inner light with the world. WRKHOUSE shine boldly and brightly throughout their first five songs, soaring into our ears and into our hearts.

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside WRKHOUSE’s Out of the Blue with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their debut EP!

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:: stream/purchase Out of the Blue EP here ::
:: connect with WRKHOUSE here ::
Stream: ‘Out of the Blue’ – WRKHOUSE



:: Inside Out of the Blue ::

Out of the Blue - WRKHOUSE

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Byw a Bod

A surrealist, half ASMR half unsettling liminal space introduction full of samples and sounds from the band’s past, whose affirming Welsh-language lyrics act as a welcome message to the listener for the rest of the EP, but reminds us as a band of  the time and energy this project had taken up over the last few years, and that we’ve come along way since first playing as a band back in 2018. We never wanted to drop our Welsh identity from this new body of work, and we’re super happy with how we’ve integrated our first language into the bigger narrative of the EP.

Time Again

Comes hand in hand with ‘Byw a Bod’ but can also stand on its own two feet as a track that encapsulates all that WRKHOUSE represents in this EP sonically. Does a lot in 2 and a half minutes…

Getaway

The debut single, and the sonic blueprint for the rest of the project. A hard-hitting track that navigates the intricate themes of personal and relational growth, or the lack thereof. The first of two one-shot videos we shot with Trigger Happy Creative made sure we could set a strong foundation both sonically and visually from the outset.

Out of the Blue

The featured track of the EP, and the last to be put together. It’s a song about spotting your ex with your best mate, essentially. We brought in our good friend Cari Pierce to help out on some of the backing vocals for this track; she’s someone we’ve always wanted to work with and we’re glad that our first collaboration is on our debut EP.

Snow

The second single. One of the first to be written, and that one constant throughout the process, so feels quite fitting to end the EP with it – got a habit of doing that with projects. It’s a nostalgic journey of restraint that crescendos into a cathartic, emotional flood.

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:: stream/purchase Out of the Blue EP here ::
:: connect with WRKHOUSE here ::

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Out of the Blue - WRKHOUSE

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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Cara Kealy
art © Seren Olivia

:: Stream WRKHOUSE ::



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