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Emily Portman

Emily Portman

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Emily PortmanEmily Portman is a singer, writer and concertina player hailed as ‘one of the new British folk scene’s most beguiling presences’ (Uncut). Emily is the 2013 holder of the BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Original Song; an accolade which reflects her power to conjure darkly surreal netherworlds where folklore and myth collide with urban landscapes.

With her debut fairytale-inspired album ‘The Glamoury’ also gaining her critical acclaim and two BBC Folk Award nominations, Emily is fast becoming a luminary of the UK folk scene, sharing stages with folk legends including Martin Simpson and Waterson:Carthy. Not only has Emily’s music propelled her onto the front cover of FRoots, she has received widespread international radio-play, reached mojo’s top ten album lists and tours extensively.

Emily performs live with the Emily Portman Trio, alongside the talented musicians Lucy Farrell (voice,viola and saw) and Rachel Newton (voice, harp and fiddle) who have become known for their “inventive arrangements using twinkling harp, brooding strings and chiming vocal parts” (Observer). Lucy and Rachel are highly sought-after soloists in their own right and together they beguile audiences throughout Europe. The Emily Portman Trio count prestigious venues including London’s Barbican and The Queen Elizabeth Hall among their stamping grounds, not to mention a string of renowned Festivals from Cambridge to Celtic Connections.

2014 has seen the release of a new collaborative traditional song band The Furrow Collective. Their debut album was released in February to overwhelming critical acclaim and described by Mojo as ‘a mouthwatering collaboration’. The Furrow Collective, which features Alasdair Roberts, Rachel Newton and Lucy Farrell, were invited to do a live session for Radio 2 and made their London debut at Outlandish Knights, a mini-festival at Kings Place, co-curated by Emily and Alasdair.

As well as being a performer, Emily is the new presenter of BBC Radio Merseyside’s folk show ‘Folkscene’, has written articles for the acclaimed roots and world music magazine fROOTS and has given talks on Ballad Studies at Cecil Sharp House, London and The International Ballad Conference.

Selected Press Quotes

‘Marvelous’ Observer

‘Casts a powerful spell’ Uncut

‘A bravely sparse and compelling new take on traditional songs’ The Guardian.

‘A mouth-watering collaboration’ Mojo [on The Furrow Collective].

‘Less a set of songs than an entire looking-glass world’: 4 Stars, Financial Times.

‘Eerily magnificent, bizarre and wonderful’ fRoots.

‘One of the year’s most distinctive folk releases’ Songlines.
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