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The Edgelarks ascending with a soaring new sound

Edgelarks are at All Saints Church, Wokingham, on Friday, November 3

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

The Edgelarks ascending with a soaring new sound

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin’s fourth studio album Edgelarks marks the genesis of a brand new band name.

Much of the English folk duo’s latest work was conceived during their extensive tour of Australia last year.

Although only one song, Signposts, is directly inspired by their time down under, the warmth and new inspiration of their travels can be heard throughout album.

Recorded in May 2017 at Cube Studios in Cornwall, songs burnished by tradition fly off down contemporary paths.

The pair’s project takes the roots of their previous work, from the traditional British folk music to Indian classical slide guitar to the stomping sound of Phil’s beatbox harmonica and adds a stem of original writing.

It features a Cornish language track, Estren, which the duo were inspired to record after hearing several Australian singers playing Cornish songs.

It seemed odd to Hannah, who is part-Cornish, that people on the other side of the globe were singing in the regional language but not her.

Hannah is very grateful for the patience and generosity of Will Halwyn and Frances Bennett, who gave her Cornish lessons.

Hannah and Phil began their musical journey together living in a small caravan in the hills near Exmouth, Devon.

Phil had just returned, chaturangui in tow, from studying slide guitar in India with the master musician Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya.

Phil and Hannah then met playing in alt-roots outfit The Roots Union, travelling from festival to festival, tent to tent, wandering the highways, byways, and old forgotten pathways of the British isles.

They followed in the footsteps of the ancient troubadour tradition, picking up tunes, songs and stories along the way. Spotted busking on the seafront at Sidmouth Folk Festival by independent music champion Steve Knightley, they soon found themselves touring nationally, supporting the likes of Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman, and eventually winning the prestigious Best Duoaward at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards.

Since they have toured all over the world, from Japan to South Africa, Canada to Australia.

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