burd ellen is a project featuring Debbie Armour (Alasdair Roberts, Green Ribbons) and Gayle Brogan (Pefkin, Electroscope). The group uses traditional song to explore and evoke dark landscapes and deep stories. Innovative instrumentation, drone and sound-wash to support detailed vocal work to create a unique sonic atmosphere.
“dripping with strangeness and unease” – 5*, The Guardian (Top 10 Folk Albums 2020)
They self-released their debut album silver came in Feb 2019. A record exploring women’s narratives in British folk song, silver came investigates ideas of persistence, defiance, devotion and transformation.
Their second album, says the never beyond, is a collection of carols and wintersong that occupy the liminal space between sacred and secular, connecting to the deep seasonal traditions of Britain and Ireland. They have continued their long-term collaboration with Jer Reid (Sumshapes, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), bringing him out from behind the studio desk to play guitar on most of the tracks. The album also features contributions from Scottish Album of the Year Award nominee Rachel Newton (The Shee, The Furrow Collective) and Luke Sutherland’s (Long Fin Killie, Mogwai) current project Rev Magnetic. The record was critically very well received, finding it’s spot in the top 10 of 2020 for many publications including The Guardian and Folk Radio UK.
“the idea of Burd Ellen is to discover new ways to explore the British folk tradition and this record certainly accomplishes that … haunting” – The Wire Magazine
burd ellen are carving out a sonically adventurous niche, but one that is informed by a deep love and respect for traditional song.