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The Rhondda in Colour… And now in sound

28 May 2024 3 minute read
Elijah Lewis Thomas

Stephen Price

The face behind the popular Rhondda In Colour Instagram account has shared his latest project this month – an alt-folk musical release that is firmly rooted in the same moving and evocative style as his photography.

Elijah Lewis Thomas is an artist from the Rhondda Valleys, and he has has been documenting the area through photographs and music for the best part of a decade.

Elijah’s valleys photography account @therhonddaincolour has gained a legion of fans drawn to the moody and often breathtakingly beautiful but overlooked Rhondda.

His music and other photography account can be found at @elijahlewisthomas – although both accounts regularly share content, with Elijah explaining that the photography is an extension of the music and vice versa.  

Elijah’s music has been aired on BBC Radio Wales, and his photography has featured in Dazed, Huck magazine and ITV.


For Thomas’ latest music release, Llwynypia, he recorded four songs (three originals and a cover of A Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues) at his house in, of course, Llwynypia.

Some of the songs are new, some have been around a little longer but all feature in his current set list.

The name for the EP is a tongue in cheek nod to Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska, hence the similar aesthetic of the artwork.

Elijah told us: “To be honest, I found the idea of seeing the name of this place on a record sleeve quite amusing. Quite ridiculous yet cool at the same time – that’s why it’s there.

“It’s also been recorded in the same stripped down manner as Bruce’s (one microphone, guitar..) but of course I can’t compare my work to his and that monumental album. Now that would be truly ridiculous.”

Each song on the EP also features a video or, more precisely, a moving photograph taken of the valleys, where Elijah frames an image and lets it play out before the viewer in one take.  

The music is available to stream online via Soundcloud and Spotify.

Elijah shared: “It’s something that I recorded in between working shifts in a kitchen, more so for the sheer enjoyment of being creative.

“I’m so pleased that it’s already received the most favourable response from people to date which of course is pretty bloody lovely.”

Musical storytelling

Drawing inspiration from iconic artists such as Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, and Bob Dylan, Thomas has developed a unique sound that is rich with poetic lyricism and heartfelt storytelling.

Born and raised in the Rhondda, Thomas found solace and inspiration in the natural landscapes that surrounded him.

His deep connection to his roots and the profound influence of his surroundings can be felt in his music.

Elijah told Nation.Cymru: “I’ll be releasing more music over the next few months. Stuff I’ve written but also a project where I reinterpret the music of artists I’ve photographed, mainly from the south Wales music scene.

“It’s good to keep busy and constantly be in a state of becoming, to go deeper and surprise yourself with things you thought you already knew but this is just the start.”

Elijah will performing at Tiny Rebel, Cardiff on 20 June as part of their monthly folk and jazz night.

Listen to Llwynypia via Soundcloud here:

Follow Elijah Lewis Thomas on Instagram: @elijahlewisthomas

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