Race Horses

Race Horses

 Cardiff, Wales, GBR

Emergent rock bands are bound to be measured against their influences, their environment, or, in the case of Race Horses, a combination of both. The quartet is based in Cardiff, Wales, and their bilingual music puts a whimsical spin on UK traditions ranging from music hall and psychedelia to glam rock and post-punk.PITCHFORK


Bet on Race Horses being your new favourite band in 2010. Having pulled off the enviable feat of producing a four-track, 7” concept EP Man In My Mind, they have just unleased their full-length, fully realised album, Goodbye Falkenburg, which is conceived as a collage of a salty old sailor’s life memories: “stories of good times and bad, of girls and champagne, of loneliness and longing.”

Bursting with ideas, zig-zagging between musical reference points from The Beatles to Suicide, this is an ambitious –and brilliant – debut, the place where Barbershop meets post-rock via folk, oompah, psychedelia and pop. “We felt bored with all modern music,” says singer Meilyr Jones. “We wanted to make our fifth album first, if you know what I mean.”

The album was recorded in a serious of adventurous sessions over the space of nine months with producer Dave Wrench (a member of Julian Cope’s Black Sheep, producer for Euros Childs and engineer for Bat for Lashes, James Yorkston, British Sea Power and Hot Chip) on board to reign in the chaos. “The Race Horses album was recorded in the oddest fashion I've ever experienced,” says Wrench. “We used nearly every technique dating back to the heyday of analogue recording. All in all, the most fun session I've ever had, and one of the very rare modern bands to be confident enough to never ever require any computer editing or trickery to make the record.”

Some tracks were recorded at parties, others in a deserted eco village named Cae Mabon (“a Smurf-esque fantasy-land Eco-paradise commune type thing,” in the words of guitarist Alun Gaffey), others in a chapel and many in Bethesda,Wales. Interspersing tracks are interludes taken from field recordings of nature or zoo animals or party guests, while string players from Meilyr’s course at the Royal Academy of Music and a choir of trainee dentists cap off the madness.

There’s more than music influencing this melee – the band cite directors Michel Gondry and Tim Burton, children’s classic Where The Wild Things Are and cheeky wartime comic George Formby as inspirations. The album’s nautical theme begins with its title: Falkenberg was a ship bombed in WWII, and also the name of a German sailor who died at sea. As the story goes, he returns to the shore every 100 years to search for a virgin to marry. Other themes, we are reliably informed, include mental illness, food, misfit couples and love. You mightn’t understand all of them, as a couple of tracks are sung in Welsh.

Comprising Meilyr Jones (vocals and bass), Dylan Hughes (keyboards, synths, guitar and vocal) Alun Gaffey (guitar and vocals) and Gwion Llewelyn (drums and vocals), Race Horses met in the sleepy Welsh town of Aberystwyth - a perfect place for psychedelic pondering. The band currently reside in Cardiff.

GOODBYE FALKENBURG is available on CD Album and Digital Download (released by Fantastic Plastic).
"A 13 track joyride, it hurts psychedelia, White Album Beatles, glam-rock, electro, barbershop, tropicalia, chamber pop and post-rock into the mix. The result is a berserk and brilliant record" SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE

“Goodbye Falkenburg is an utterly entertaining trip” MOJO

“cut from the same gonzoid pop cloth as Super Furry Animals, full of psych rock & Beatles soaked harmonies” Q

“colliery band parps, early Of-Montreal jangle, pastoral melancholy and what sounds like Beirut captaining a pirate ship maintain their standing as purveyors of mighty fine singles” NME

“a wilfully zany debut with mischievous spirit that’s hard to dislike” UNCUT

“Goodbye Falkenberg is an off-kilter masterpiece, irreverent, unadulterated and well worth a listen”.

“a hugely enjoyable Fireworks display of ideas” ARTROCKER

“Race Horses have a talent for multi coloured gonzoid pop that’s as ambitious as it is catchy” METRO

“Wholly original and genuinely exciting” MUSIC FIX

“Exuberant & upbeat – an album to make you smile” BIG ISSUE

“Goodbye Falkenberg is a startlingly good first impression” CLASH

‘Goodbye Falkenburg’, the quartet prove that they are quite versatile, writing brilliant pop songs with plenty of quirkiness included. The future looks bright for this lot, make no mistake.

“With darkly humorous lyrics, handclaps galore, huge orchestral arrangements and choral parts – debut album Goodbye Falkenburg is sure to be a highlight of the year” NARC

Band Members:
Meilyr Jones
Alun Gaffey
Dylan Hughes
Gwion Llewelyn


Further information: julie@fpmusic.org


Debut Album "Goodbye Falkenburg"

1. Man In My Mind
2. Cake
3. Pony
4. Isle Of Ewe
5. Cacen Mamgu
6. Glo Ac Oren
7. Voyage To St Louiscious
8. Discopig
9. Man In My Mind (in at party near you)
10. Scooter
11. Intergalactic Space Rebellion
12. Captain Penelope Smith
13. Marged Wedi Blino