Folk At Lowther with Emily Portman
Showing on Mon 5 Feb 2024
Nominated ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
BBC RADIO 2 Folk Award 2013 Winner – Best Original Song with ‘Hatchling’
Emily Portman is the 2013 holder of the BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Original Song; an accolade which reflects her power to lure listeners into a complex and darkly surreal netherworld, conjuring a dark and brooding realm. Her ethereal voice belies a world of dark storytelling, cruel deeds and sordid city landscapes, part inspired by traditional balladry and part by rich literary sources, from the myth of Leda and the Swan to the magical realism of Angela Carter.
Emily’s most recent album Coracle (released in June 2015) is her most ambitious yet, scaling new creative heights. Moving deftly between bare-boned tales of metamorphosis and songs brimful with fragile life, Coracle reinforces Emily’s growing reputation as a dazzlingly original singer and songwriter. Her first entirely self-penned album, Coracle subtly weaves together themes from myth and folklore with personal reflections on motherhood and bereavement. With inspired production work from Andy Bell, beguiling harmonies sing out over an atmospheric, layered soundscape of harp, strings, bells, guitars, musical saw and percussion. Coracle features a stellar cast of guest musicians including Bellowhead’s Sam Sweeney, guitarist M G Boulter and classical percussionist Toby Kearney as well as a sublime string section made up of the top UK folk players. The result is an album that sparkles with confidence and crackles with creativity.
Emily Portman: vocals, concertina, banjo
Praise for Coracle:
‘Entrancing and unsettling. A marvellous, original work’ Observer
‘A tribute to her powerful imagination’ Living Tradition
‘Spooky and surreal’ Guardian
‘Together with her previous two albums The Glamoury and Hatchlings, Emily has created an immaculate triptych of darkly brilliant songs. Make sure to be a completist and get this in your life.’ English Dance and Song Magazine
"An intensely luminous collection of songs whose articulate lyrics, virtuoso performances and intricate arrangements never overshadow the very real humanity which is at the heart of it all." Folk Radio UK
"Intense and alluring" Fatea