Photo credit: Ben Hughes
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 support detailed vocal work to create a unique sonic atmosphere.
They self-released their debut album Silver Came in 2019. 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. The record was critically well received, finding its spot in the top 10 of 2020 for many publications including The Guardian and Folk Radio UK.
A Tarot Of The Green Wood is their third studio album, released Oct 2022. Debbie Armour says “I’m a long time collector and lover of tarot, and I’ve recently become drawn to the idea of finding parallels between interpretation of traditional song and the art of divination. Gayle and I have brought together a new collection of songs that reflect the ideas, archetypes and imagery of the Major Arcana.” Developed on residency at Sage Gateshead, the album also features guest appearances from Irish piper Ian Lynch (Fire Draw Near, Lankum) and Newcastle-based composer Mark Wardlaw (Kenosist, The Old Police House). The album is also the first release on Debbie's new record label Mavis Recordings
Burd Ellen have appeared at Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, Fanø Free Folk Festival, Cafe Oto, The Glad Cafe and many other stages in the UK and Europe. They are carving out a sonically adventurous niche, but one that is informed by a deep love and respect for traditional song.
"dripping with strangeness and unease" - 5*, The Guardian (Top 10 Folk Albums 2020)
"a thrilling and utterly hypnotic ride" - Folk Radio UK (Top 10 Albums of 2020)
"One of the finest folk explorers" - The Wire Magazine
"Wonderful!” - Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6 Music