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Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Pop Psychedelic




"Swn Festival: Day One."

HMS MORRIS (Angel Hotel 7.00 – 7.30)

Working as HMS Morris,the skeletal, bluesy songs of Heledd Watkins come on brooding and lean like King Alexander but with pleasingly sinister keyboard lines slicing through them. Seems to have been promising a single or EP of sorts for ages now – I last saw the three-piece live incarnation of HMS Morris hush the room at a Peski Nacht gig in Jacobs Market, all coiled PJ Harvey menace and slow-burn charm – and, after stints playing for Emmy The Great and Chloe Howl, it seems she’s finally getting round to it. Recommended. -

"The 51 Greatest Welsh Pop Records of 2013"


Pulsing and brooding HMS Morris’ cinematic electro pop is devilishly and deliciously unhinged. For those who like Bjork levels of quirkiness, Melody’s Echo Chamber-like dreamscapes and a woman who rivals Kate Bush for mascara-smeared caterwauling, then anchor this ship of cool to your heart. -

"Cosines/The Lovely Wars/HMS Morris/My Name is Ian @ Four Bars, Dempseys."

HMS Morris alter ego of Heledd Mair Watkins,is a very different beast with her brand of psychedelic indie pop. She has a uniqueness that sets her apart due to her diverse arrangements, musicianship and writing. As the set unfolded, I found myself getting lost (enjoyably so) in brooding electronica reminiscent at times of Massive Attack. But there are so many flavours on offer tonight that it's not possible to label HMS Morris one thing or another. A simply breathtaking 'Shipping Forecast' leaves me (and I'm sure others) wanting more. -

"One To Watch... HMS Morris"

HMS Morris, the solo project of Heledd Watkins turned curio-pop three-piece, came into being in 2013 but have only properly hit the ground running this year. This year also marks the centenary of HMS Morris, a WWI British war ship. Beyond their name, and their having titled a (digital only) single from earlier this year 'Shipping Forecast', there's little that obviously connects the Cardiff-based trio to nautical matters, let alone ones of devastating conflict. As it turns out, HMS Morris' agreeably inexact take on synthpop, psychedelia and indiepop probably serves them better than if they were playing sea shanties, or were a military brass band. Having played in a short-lived Cardiff band called Bare Left circa 2009, Watkins moved to London and scored some acting and session musician gigs, notably becoming bassist in Emmy The Great. Now relocated to Cardiff she's joined in HMS Morris by Sam Roberts (bass/synth) and Wil Roberts (drums), both of whom used to play in Mwsog.
This new venture allows them to continue combining electronic and pastoral moods, as showcased on a new two-track single released by North Wales label Blinc. 'I Grind My Teeth' starts off with a deceptively cheap drum machine, quickly swelling into and earworm pop number that recalls Catatonia and The Postal Service in equal measure. 'I Dream of the Diner' breaks out the creepy garage organ, slyly brooding for most of it's 3:44 length but unable to resist a buoyant pop chorus. They often sing in Welsh, too, but - like Candelas, profiled last month - HMS Morris have the potential to find favour far and wide. - Buzz Magazine South Wales

"Introducing - HMS Morris"

HMS Morris are a Welsh Art-Pop group that delve into the wonky, odd-ball side of psychedelia – finding the balance between bold experimentalism without giving up accessibility. With the title-track of their forthcoming first record, ‘Interior Design’, the trio impress with a curious four minute satire on domestic dullness.

With an undercurrent of post-punk edginess, the group toy with colliding synthesisers and cooing vocals and still manage to create something cohesive and alluring. It’s bombastic and elaborate yet something smarter than it makes out lurks underneath. The expressive performance of vocalist Heledd Watkins enhances the charming pop technique of the group, while her witty lyricism is a combination of tongue-in-cheek literacy and burning perception, altogether creating something with real quality.

An intriguing statement of an introduction, HMS Morris offer a middle ground between subtle pop and outlandish curiosity. - Clunk Magazine

"Review — HMS Morris and No Sinner at The Garrison, Toronto — CMW"

...the most interesting 90 seconds of summer music I heard all Friday evening at CMW showcases. Their name is HMS Morris – look them up – I’m listening as I write this, and enjoying their dreamy electro-pop immensely. A short but very sweet introduction to a most interesting band. - Music Vice

"Track Of The Day - HMS Morris - Interior Design"

Welsh psychedelic electro-pop rock three-piece HMS Morris have been bubbling under the surface of the South Wales music scene for the last few years. They emerged with the delightfully lush pop swoops, then spent last year as part of the Horizons project which gives a platform in the media and on stages to local acts.

They now take a giant stride forwards with ‘Interior Design’ the bright-eyed, colorfully imaginative first splash of their forthcoming debut album slated for a July release. Wonky rhythms leap, delightful swooshes of keyboards spin like multicolored wheels, sewn with electric eel riffs and dappled with Heledd’s sprightly pop-up harmonies “Oh My God/It’s another day of interior design,” she exclaims stretching, pulling and decorating each note with her Welsh lilt.

It’s a psych-pop voyage that paints pictures vivid pictures and hooky tunes. It’s the sound of the franco electro of Stereolab colliding with the playful melodies of B-52s and the intricate folk harmonies of Stealing Sheep! ‘Interior Design’ doesn’t just depict a dreary day spent giving some elbow grease to some grey walls, it’s a delicious teaser of imaginative things to come from HMS this year! - God Is In The Tv Zine.

"CMW 2016: easing into Canadian Music Week Tuesday night with Canadians, Irish and Welsh acts – 3rd May 2016"

I popped outside and over to the Silver Dollar Room to catch an act that I’d been recommended to see. HMS Morris isn’t the name of a boat, they’re a Welsh band, and a psych rock / pop one at that. Their songs are catchy and just weird enough to feel unique but not so weird that new fans can’t catch on. I felt it was too bad that there weren’t as many people in town for CMW on Tuesday night, as I imagined a full-up venue for a band like this at SXSW. Have a taste of their performance at the BBC Introducing stage Glastonbury 2015 below. - There Goes The Fear.


Still working on that hot first release.



By their own reckoning, HMS Morris "appeared in mid-air between London and Cardiff in 2012, hovered for a good while to get their bearings, and finally descended in 2014 to set down roots in the rich, psychedelic soil of Wales”. And those fanciful beginnings tell you much about the widescreen and highly imaginative music this three-piece make - inspired as much by quirky American acts like St Vincent, Tune Yards and Warpaint as they are by Cate Le Bon, Super Furry Animals and older Welsh psych bands like Man.

Frontwoman Heledd Watkins sings in both Welsh and English, and used to play bass in Emmy The Great’s band. Once she and bandmates Sam and Wil Robert found their sea legs with HMS Morris, the band secured the support of Huw Stephens, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Wales and BBC 6 Music. Their debut album 'Interior Design' will be released on November 18th. Get onboard now.

Band Members