Gruff Rhys and his band piled into a van driven by 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 recorded Sadness Sets Me Free in just three days. Along the way, backing vocals were added 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. Independent Shops Exclusive Blackberry
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