Gruff Rhys: American Interior

American Interior
Gruff Rhys
Release Date: May 5th, 2014

by Joanna Orland

With American Interior, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals, Neon Neon) establishes himself as a storyteller to tell the true story of John Evans, who in 1792 traveled to America to discover whether there was a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe known as The Madogwys still walking the Great Plains.  In the summer of 2012, Rhys, himself a distant relative of Evans, retraced the explorer’s route by performing a series of solo gigs across the continent.  Documenting both Evans’ and Rhys’ adventures, American Interior is released across four different formats, each of which explores the story from a unique angle.

The album is released on May 5th and features thirteen new songs inspired by Evans’ original journey.  The song American Interior is a strong start to the album displaying the usual folky pop fare that we’ve come to expect from Gruff Rhys.  The album progresses with 100 Unread Messages into rockabilly territory, using music to depict the feeling of a road trip across America.  A couple of songs further into the album, The Last Conquistador gives us a synth pop ballad and Liberty (Is Where We’ll Be) is relatively more folk.

Song styles vary across the whole album with elements of folk, rockabilly and dreampop, leaving the album feeling a little incohesive and unsatisfying.  But perhaps this is because the album is only one aspect of American Interior

In addition to the American Interior album, fans can also expect:

The book – a psychedelic historical travelogue in which Rhys traces Evans’ incredible journey from North Wales to New Spain, alongside the tale of his own American roadtrip following in Evans’ footsteps. The book will be published in hardback and eBook in late May.

The film – a visual document of Rhys’ 2012 tour in which fiction, fact, fantasy, myth and music collide. It is due for release in the UK on May 9th. View the trailer here.

The app – creates an immersive version of the John Evans story by compiling artwork, animation, prose, film clips and original music.


Read more about the project as explained by Gruff Rhys himself, on the Gruffington Post.

Leave a Reply