Gruff Rhys Shares “Celestial Candyfloss,” Announces New Album

Gruff Rhys announces his new album Sadness Sets Me Free (Rough Trade), which will be released on January 26, 2024. Incredibly, this will be the 25th album of his career (individually, collaboratively, and as a member of various bands) that has spanned 35 years. Lead single ‘Celestial Candyfloss’ is a telling glimpse of the forthcoming album, revealing the heady wonders and classic pop sounds within. Soaring strings carry the sweet melodies along, anchored by just enough necessary melancholy to add emotional ballast. The eye-popping video was created by long-time collaborator Mark James and compliments the scope and style of the song on a galactic scale. Sadness Sets Me Free will be available in a range of formats including a unique Dinked edition on ‘honeycomb neo-neapolitan’ vinyl, an LP sleeve with ‘container doors’, and a bonus 7” with exclusive audio for the first 1500 copies. A gatefold soft pack CD also includes a pull-out poster. Pre-order here.

Gruff says ‘Cestial Candyfloss’ “is an attempted pocket symphony about the cosmic lengths that people will travel in the pursuit of love and acceptance. Mark James has brought the Sadness Sets Me Free album cover to life & managed to place me watching TV interference in a shipping container that’s lost in space. For what is apparently the 25th album I’ve had a hand in writing I’ve reverted to a rich seam of inspiration relating to shedding some light on sadness and the general terror of cosmic loneliness.

And so it was that Gruff and his band – Osian Gwynedd (piano), Huw V Williams (double bass) and former Flaming Lips drummer turned Super Furry Animals archivist Kliph Scurlock (drums) piled into a van driven by the late, legendary tour manager “Dr” Kiko Loiacono and raced from Dunkirk, where they had just played the final show of a tour of Spain and France, to the outskirts of Paris in the early hours of a March morning in 2022. There, in La Frette Studios, a recording facility installed in a 19th-century house, Gruff and his road-hardened group tracked Sadness Sets Me Free in just three days. Backing vocals were added along the way by Kate Stables from This Is The Kit along with additional strings and orchestration and it was mixed between Marseille and Cardiff. What finally emerged from these intense bouts of cross-continental activity was Gruff’s most accomplished and beautiful record to date.

Tour Dates

10/11 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge#

10/12 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool

10/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s#

10/14 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd#

10/17 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel

10/19 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

10/20 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Back Room at Colectivo Coffee#

10/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club #

10/27-29 – Caernarfon, UK @ Caernarfon Castle

11/5 – Brighton, UK @ Mutations Festival

12/1 – Glasgow, UK @ Barrowlands^

12/2 – Liverpool, UK @ Olympia^

2/2 – Aberystwyth, UK @ Arts Centre

# = w/ This Is The Kit

^ = w/ The Coral