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 Feb 2019, on limited edition CD. 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, Bows) current project Rev Magnetic.
burd ellen are carving out a sonically adventurous niche, but one that is informed by a deep love and respect for traditional song.
"this is a record which rapidly establishes its credentials as the work of a significant artist" - fRoots Magazine
"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
"the sonic equivalent of Ingmar Bergman's immaculate Winter Light" - Stewart Gardiner, Concrete Islands
press & quotes
""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
"..this is a record which rapidly establishes it's credentials as the work of a significant artist" - fRoots Magazine
Disappear Over The Sea - Interview with Concrete Islands
"Her debut album Silver Came is absolutely stunning ... with incredible pacing, often using the juxtaposition of lo-fi and hi-fi recording to great effect." - Pink Wafer
"an ear for detailed sonic texture that sets the group apart from would-be peers" - Interview with Alasdair Roberts for fRoots Magazine
The Rebirth of Political Folk - Feature in Observer Magazine, Jude Rogers
Gail Brogan (also of Pefkin) adds the eery backdrop for vocalist Debbie Armour’s fantastic voice, nowhere more clear and wrenching than in their rendition “Sweet Lemany”. - Live review in Here Today
"Interesting, sympathetic and sometimes magical" - Live review in HYMN
"Eschewing instrumentation, the opening three tracks constitute a block of prepared minimalism, the sonic equivalent of Ingmar Bergman’s immaculate Winter Light." - Stewart Gardiner, Concrete Islands
"This is an album of astonishing emotional heft, musical strengths and genuine beauty" - Grey Malkin, MOOF Magazine
"‘Chi Mi Bhuam’ is a beguiled twilight mystical sparsely touched with a love noted timelessness, much like some mythical siren emerging from the woodland mists" - The Sunday Experience
"A truly superb experimental folk single from a band I'm keen to hear more from" - Bliss/Aquamarine