Founded by experimental folk artist Richard Dawson and avant-garde harpist Rhodri Davies in 2012, Hen Ogledd went through many expansions and shifts in sound as they evolved.
Growing in numbers with each new release, they welcomed Dawn Bothwell to the band on vocals and electronics for their explosive 2016 live album, Bronze, and the addition of vocalist Sally Pilkington took things from improvised weirdness to polished electro-pop and organic songcraft on album's like 2020's extensive Free Humans.
Hen Ogledd borrowed their band name from the Welsh term for the region between Southern Scotland and Northern England, and the group originally consisted of guitarist/vocalist Richard Dawson and harp improviser Rhodri Davies. Their first recordings were shared in the form of a limited vinyl-only release in 2013 simply entitled Dawson-Davies: Hen Ogledd. In 2016, the band performed their second-ever live gig, adding vocalist/electronic musician Dawn Bothwell to the fold and capturing the cacophonous performance to tape. The edited form of this noisy performance was issued later that year as Hen Ogledd's second album, Bronze, again in a limited vinyl release.
Hen Ogledd signed to Domino Records offshoot Weird World for the release of their third album, 2018's Mogic. Now a quartet with the addition of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Sally Pilkington, Hen Ogledd took a drastic turn away from their largely formless beginnings on Mogic, a collection of more traditionally structured and pop-friendly songs that included newfound electronic elements. Two years later, the band returned with Free Humans, a double album that moved away from the colder, more robotic tones of the previous LP for a slightly more organic sound. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi