The Welsh singer-songwriter was speaking to NME on the red carpet at the Mercury Prize 2022 earlier this week (October 19), where she was nominated for her third solo album ‘Tresor’ – up against the likes of Self Esteem’s ‘Prioritise Pleasure’, Sam Fender’s ‘Seventeen Going Under’, Yard Act’s ‘The Overload’, Kojey Radical‘s ‘Reason To Smile’ and Harry Styles’ ‘Harry’s House’ for the prize, but ultimately lost out to Little Simz’s ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert‘.
Asked about the impact of her nomination, “It’s definitely raised the profile of the record, which is amazing. It’s a real stamp of approval that people take notice of. It has been super, super positive.”
And what would she have spent the prize money on?
“I’d spend it on making another record, because money is tight! It would be really useful,” she admitted. “We made this record for less than it costs for a table tonight, so actually £25,000 would help us make five records!”
Revealing that she hoped her next album would be “louder” and perhaps “gnarlier” than its predecessor, she continued: “We’ve been talking about it. ‘Tresor’ was our quiet record. We had conversations around it like, ‘Let’s just put it out and we’re sure everyone will ignore it’, so all of this is so unexpected. We’re very focussed on the next record.”
Looking ahead to some upcoming shows, Gwenno pointed out her appearance later this month at the Festival Of Voice – performing Death Songbook with Brett Anderson and Paraorchestra. The show will consist of an anthology of music by icons including Echo & The Bunnymen, Japan, David Bowie, Suede and many more.
“My inner goth is really happy,” she said of the show, admitting that she’d “love to” work on a further collaboration with Anderson. “I was listening to the recording and he’s got such a brilliant voice. Nadine Shah is on there too and her voice is incredible, so they’re huge boots to fill. I am excited to do it.”
“Then I’m doing Other Voices in Cardigan, which will be quite an ambient set. And I’m pregnant, so it will be a lot of writing and the small matter of a baby. Life, music and family for me are all the same thing. It’s all this huge, big chaos that all works out.”
Watch our full video interview with Gwenno above, where she also tells us about her thoughts on her competition at the Mercurys and the upcoming Welsh Music Prize.
Death Songbook will take place at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre as part of Llais on Saturday 29 October 2022. Visit here for tickets and more information.