Sometimes the smallest and most particular of stories speak to the most powerful of human emotions and experiences. And so it is with Karine Polwart’s songs, peopled as they are with the ghosts of childhood adventures, elderly neighbours, eroding shorelines and exiled mothers. Her talent for crafting enduring melodies, her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case, the range and dynamism of her arrangements, all come together in songs of powerful contemporary relevance. She has also the most approachable of singing voices, drawing the listener towards her like a fireside storyteller.
Four-times winner at The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, twice for Best Original Song, her most recent album Traces (produced by Iain Cook of Chvrches) was shortlisted for both the Scottish Album of the Year Award and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Album of the Year. The Guardian chose it as international folk-roots release of 2012. Her debut solo album Faultlines won Best Album at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards back in 2005, following six years of touring as a traditional Scots singer with Malinky and Battlefield Band.
Worry Dolls have been rapidly building momentum with their unique approach to indie-folk. What sets them apart is their tongue-in-cheek, honest lyrics and their refusal to sing “cliché love songs”. They performed at Glastonbury 2015, supporting Joan Armatrading on tour, often heard on Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music, amongst others. Tracks from Worry Dolls' debut EP have clocked up over 100,000 views on YouTube, and over 80,000 spins on SoundCloud. Their sound has now grown as their influences have shifted more towards the roots sounds of Nashville & the Appalachian mountains – but it still bares a strong UK stamp.
Two singer-songwriters unite for memorable Bristol gig
Enter a heartfelt melodic soundscape with two singer-songwriters who push sonic boundaries while delivering damn good story-telling songs.
Duotone, aka Barney Morse-Brown (cellist with triple-platinum artist Birdy) is a singer-songwriter creating evocative folk songs fusing electronica with crystal-clear vocals, guitar and cello, distilled with classical grace.
“A hidden gem.” — Observer
“[The] sound is light but cleverly layered, the songs minimal but resonant.” — Guardian/Observer
“…Spring-clear acoustic guitar lines backed by sombre cello harmonies.”
— Guitarist Magazine
Larkhall is Chicago-born Charlie Williams, a pianist who brings an indie-classical sensibility to his anthemic, melodic songs. His entrancing lyrics are raised up by the rise and swell of lyrical, heart-opening piano and strings. Expect unconventional add-ons including Blu Tack, one-handed drumming and metronome-as-percussion.
“…Spoke directly to the Nils Frahm fan in me… glorious, heartfelt melody… a coming-of-age for the lead character on the big screen of my mind.”— Fresh on the Net
“…Demonstrates a virtuosity that deserves a very large audience.”— Kreiszeitung (DE)
“Exceptional, powerful… something you need to experience.”— No More Division