by Bill Pearis
Gruff Rhys will release his third solo album, Hotel Shampoo, on February 14 in the UK. No release date (or label) for North America yet, which may be why Rhys will be in America next month playing a two shows, including one at Rockwood Music Hall on January 13 (tickets on sale). He plays LA's Bootleg Theater a couple days before on Jan. 11.
The album's first single, "Shark Ridden Waters," is out now which you can download for the price of your email address via widget at the bottom of this post. Also down there is the single's video which is definitely worth watching. As for the album's title, Rhys has apparently been collecting little bottles of hotel shampoo since the early days of Super Furry Animals and decided to do an art project with them -- build a model hotel out of them. The piece made its debut in Berlin's September Gallery last week. You can read more about it further down this post.
The Super Furry Animals frontman has had a busy year already. No SFA records, but he starred in and co-directed the quasi-documentary Separado! which followed Rhys across several continents in search of a lost uncle. The official synopsis:
Star Trek meets Buena Vista Social Club in this psychedelic western musical as Welsh pop legend Gruff Rhys takes us on a pan continental road trip in search of his long lost Patagonian uncle, the poncho wearing guitarist RENE GRIFFITHS.Sounds amazing. Too bad Separado! still doesn't have an American distributor, though those of us with an all-region player can now buy the UK DVD. You can watch the trailer at the bottom of this post. While in South America, Rhys met Tony Da Gatorra, "a Brazilian TV and VCR repairman, musical freedom fighter and the inventor of his own unique 'Gatorra' instrument," who features in the film. Their meeting also spawned an album, this year's The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness, which was recorded in a day (five hours, specifically) and is fairly weird.
In 1880, following a controversial horse race that led to an unresolved death, Gruff Rhys' family split as Dafydd Jones took his young family to join the burgeoning Welsh community in Patagonia, South America. There was to be no contact between the families for almost a century when in 1974 Rene Griffiths arrived in Wales with his Latin infused Welsh love songs and became an over night sensation.
Read more about Hotel Shampoo, watch videos and download "Shark Ridden Waters" after the jump.
Gruff Rhys - "Shark Ridden Waters"
Gruff Rhys - Hotel Shampoo
Separado! opening titles
Gruff Rhys - Hotel Shampoo
Shark Ridden Waters
Honey All Over
Sensations In The Dark
Take A Sentence
Space Dust #2
At The Heart Of Love
Patterns Of Power
If We Were Words (We Would Rhyme)
Gruff Rhys - 2011 Tour Dates
Tue, 11th Jan Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles
Thu, 13th Jan Rockwood Music Hall, NYC
Mon, 14th Feb Memorial Hall, Sheffield
Tue, 15th Feb Oran Mor, Glasgow
Thu, 17th Feb St Phillips, Manchester
Fri, 18th Feb The Kazimier, Liverpool
Sat, 19th Feb St Paul's Church, Cambridge
Sun, 20th Feb Arts Centre, Norwich
Mon, 21st Feb Glee Club, Nottingham
Tue, 22nd Feb Cadogan Hall, London
Fri, 25th Feb Palace Theatre, Bridport
Sat, 26th Feb St Georges Church, Brighton
Sun, 27th Feb Glee Club, Birmingham
Mon, 28th Feb St Georges Hall, Bristol