biog

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. 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.

burd ellen are carving out a sonically adventurous niche, but one that is informed by a deep love and respect for traditional song.

Burd Ellen were proud to be supported by the Nest Collective's AMPLIFY initiative in 2019

 

"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)

"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

 

"a kind of front-room, palm-sized form of Penederecki, Branca, or early Swans" - Rock and Roll Globe (Best Artists of 2020)

press & quotes

"dripping with strangeness and unease" - 5* The Guardian

Top 10 Folk Albums of 2020

"an instant classic and destined to become a favourite for many, many years" - Scots Whay Hae! Top 20 Albums of 2020

"analogue electronica and sacred resonance" - Concrete Islands - Interview

Best Albums of 2020

"a work of startling beauty, hugely evocative and transportive" - MOOF Magazine (Grey Malkin)

"a stark beauty and yet wonderful warmth and emotional quality which is clearly grounded in tradition" - Terrascope

"Says The Never Beyond is one of the outstanding folk releases of the year - The Third Ear

"a kind of front-room, palm-sized form of Penederecki, Branca, or early Swans" - Rock and Roll Globe, Best Artists of 2020

"Fans of The Watersons, The Iditarod and In Gowan Ring would find this record to be absolutely essentia" - Record Crates United

"frankly amazing" - Bliss Aquamarine

"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

Burd Ellen were proud to be supported in 2019 by The Nest Collective's AMPLIFY initiative 

"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

 

INTERVIEW with 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

"Burd Ellen harmonise with heart-touching perfection" - Electronic Sound Magazine

"Burd Ellen bringing forth some alluringly stark Gaelic folk balladry" - Concrete Islands