Bella Hardy


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5 ***** Maverick Magazine "A winning stratagem from the folk princess. Is there anything not to like on the prolific Bella Hardy's latest studio album?" (Peter Palmer)

4**** The Guardian “Bella Hardy is a fine, no-nonsense interpreter of traditional music and an excellent songwriter, and on this album the two modes collide... a powerful set" (Robin Denselow)

fRoots Magazine "There are many levels on which to admire Bella Hardy. That voice, of course – so vulnerable, exposed and unadorned – will always be her greatest weapon of mass distraction but she’s also one of the best ... Read more

5 ***** Maverick Magazine "A winning stratagem from the folk princess. Is there anything not to like on the prolific Bella Hardy's latest studio album?" (Peter Palmer)

4**** The Guardian “Bella Hardy is a fine, no-nonsense interpreter of traditional music and an excellent songwriter, and on this album the two modes collide... a powerful set" (Robin Denselow)

fRoots Magazine "There are many levels on which to admire Bella Hardy. That voice, of course – so vulnerable, exposed and unadorned – will always be her greatest weapon of mass distraction but she’s also one of the best songwriters of her generation" (Colin Irwin)

Sunday Times “Stunning... there is an aura of sophistication that will win over listeners who never set foot in a folk club” (Clive Davis)

It’s been five years since Bella Hardy found herself nominated in the Best Original Song category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Three Black Feathers – the first song she ever wrote. In 2012 she won that same award for her powerful and moving account of life as a 19th century Stornoway Herring Girl – taken from her third album, Songs Lost & Stolen, which earned a four star review from The Guardian while The Independent called the entirely self-composed collection: “beautifully crafted and conceived with poetic flair.” In those few short years, Bella has become one of the most creative, prolific and original voices on the flourishing UK folk scene.

Growing up in Edale in the Peak District, with a family who sang in the local choir, book loving Bella was drawn to the tales contained in old ballads. But her path to a career in traditional music began with visits to folk festivals, joining a school ceilidh band, and attending the Folkworks summer school in Durham where, aged 13, she joined the sprawling, teenage ensemble The Pack with whom she performed for 10 years - appearing on the main stages of such institutions as Sidmouth, Warwick and Cambridge festivals. In 2004 she entered the BBC Young Folk Award and reached the finals - for which she taught herself to fiddle-sing.

In 2007 Bella added to her BA in English Literature with a Masters degree in Music from Newcastle University; emerging from her studies with the traditional and original songs that formed her impressive debut album Night Visiting (including material sourced from Edale’s neighbouring valley Castleton).

Accompanied by former Last Night’s Fun box player Chris Sherburn, Bella trod the folk club and festivals circuit, all the while embarking on projects as diverse as they were daunting in scale and ambition. Be that singing the Scottish ballad Annie Laurie on Radio 2’s Titanic: Minute by Minute programme (the song was said to have been heard on the SS Californian as it sailed by the doomed ship) or performing unaccompanied in the centre of a sold-out Royal Albert Hall during The Proms. More recently she co-wrote with former Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray, for his concept album The Life of Birds, and composed the music for Radio 4’s The People’s Post – a documentary on the history of the Post Office.

Bella’s second album, In The Shadow of Mountains saw her writing songs of modern social history (in particular the 2007 foot-and-mouth outbreak that devastated farming communities) and retellings of familiar folk tales in urban domestic settings (the highway-woman Sovay became a disconsolate housewife.) English Dance and Song magazine described it as: “lyrical portraiture that brings to mind no less than Lennon and McCartney.”

A period of Prince-like prolificacy followed the release of 2011’s award-winning Songs Lost & Stolen LP, beginning with an album inspired by and adapted from The Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire, published in 1867. The Dark Peak and The White, produced by Lau’s Kris Drever, confirmed her place as one of the scene's best singers, with MOJO magazine writing “lovingly presented, her singing is glorious”, while The Guardian called her vocal performance on the record “as fine, cool and no-nonsense as ever”.

In that same year Bella recorded and released yet another album: Bright Morning Star. Intended simply as a souvenir of her seasonal tour, the record - which combined yuletide standards with traditional carols (and even found room for Shakin’ Stevens and a Barenaked Ladies number) – received a surprise four star review from The Times who called the Christmas collection “a quiet, unassuming treasure trove.”

2012 also saw the fruition of a long-held plan to record an album with Brit folk trailblazer Eliza Carthy and friends Lucy Farrell and Kate Young. Initially just an idea in Northumbrian piping pioneer Kathryn Tickell’s head (according to Eliza she’d failed to notice they were all female singers and fiddle players), Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young released their debut album Laylam at the start of 2013.

This spring sees the release of battleplan, Bella Hardy’s latest studio album on which she’s given new perspectives to some of her favourite traditional songs and allowed her own life to intertwine with those of the heroines of folk songs past. Battleplan is Bella’s most musically expansive and lyrically personal album to date; produced by Mattie Foulds and recorded with her touring band The Midnight Watch. And in the time it took to read this she may well have written and recorded another one.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

5 ***** Maverick Magazine "A winning stratagem from the folk princess. Is there anything not to like on the prolific Bella Hardy's latest studio album?" (Peter Palmer)

4**** The Guardian “Bella Hardy is a fine, no-nonsense interpreter of traditional music and an excellent songwriter, and on this album the two modes collide... a powerful set" (Robin Denselow)

fRoots Magazine "There are many levels on which to admire Bella Hardy. That voice, of course – so vulnerable, exposed and unadorned – will always be her greatest weapon of mass distraction but she’s also one of the best songwriters of her generation" (Colin Irwin)

Sunday Times “Stunning... there is an aura of sophistication that will win over listeners who never set foot in a folk club” (Clive Davis)

It’s been five years since Bella Hardy found herself nominated in the Best Original Song category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Three Black Feathers – the first song she ever wrote. In 2012 she won that same award for her powerful and moving account of life as a 19th century Stornoway Herring Girl – taken from her third album, Songs Lost & Stolen, which earned a four star review from The Guardian while The Independent called the entirely self-composed collection: “beautifully crafted and conceived with poetic flair.” In those few short years, Bella has become one of the most creative, prolific and original voices on the flourishing UK folk scene.

Growing up in Edale in the Peak District, with a family who sang in the local choir, book loving Bella was drawn to the tales contained in old ballads. But her path to a career in traditional music began with visits to folk festivals, joining a school ceilidh band, and attending the Folkworks summer school in Durham where, aged 13, she joined the sprawling, teenage ensemble The Pack with whom she performed for 10 years - appearing on the main stages of such institutions as Sidmouth, Warwick and Cambridge festivals. In 2004 she entered the BBC Young Folk Award and reached the finals - for which she taught herself to fiddle-sing.

In 2007 Bella added to her BA in English Literature with a Masters degree in Music from Newcastle University; emerging from her studies with the traditional and original songs that formed her impressive debut album Night Visiting (including material sourced from Edale’s neighbouring valley Castleton).

Accompanied by former Last Night’s Fun box player Chris Sherburn, Bella trod the folk club and festivals circuit, all the while embarking on projects as diverse as they were daunting in scale and ambition. Be that singing the Scottish ballad Annie Laurie on Radio 2’s Titanic: Minute by Minute programme (the song was said to have been heard on the SS Californian as it sailed by the doomed ship) or performing unaccompanied in the centre of a sold-out Royal Albert Hall during The Proms. More recently she co-wrote with former Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray, for his concept album The Life of Birds, and composed the music for Radio 4’s The People’s Post – a documentary on the history of the Post Office.

Bella’s second album, In The Shadow of Mountains saw her writing songs of modern social history (in particular the 2007 foot-and-mouth outbreak that devastated farming communities) and retellings of familiar folk tales in urban domestic settings (the highway-woman Sovay became a disconsolate housewife.) English Dance and Song magazine described it as: “lyrical portraiture that brings to mind no less than Lennon and McCartney.”

A period of Prince-like prolificacy followed the release of 2011’s award-winning Songs Lost & Stolen LP, beginning with an album inspired by and adapted from The Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire, published in 1867. The Dark Peak and The White, produced by Lau’s Kris Drever, confirmed her place as one of the scene's best singers, with MOJO magazine writing “lovingly presented, her singing is glorious”, while The Guardian called her vocal performance on the record “as fine, cool and no-nonsense as ever”.

In that same year Bella recorded and released yet another album: Bright Morning Star. Intended simply as a souvenir of her seasonal tour, the record - which combined yuletide standards with traditional carols (and even found room for Shakin’ Stevens and a Barenaked Ladies number) – received a surprise four star review from The Times who called the Christmas collection “a quiet, unassuming treasure trove.”

2012 also saw the fruition of a long-held plan to record an album with Brit folk trailblazer Eliza Carthy and friends Lucy Farrell and Kate Young. Initially just an idea in Northumbrian piping pioneer Kathryn Tickell’s head (according to Eliza she’d failed to notice they were all female singers and fiddle players), Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young released their debut album Laylam at the start of 2013.

This spring sees the release of battleplan, Bella Hardy’s latest studio album on which she’s given new perspectives to some of her favourite traditional songs and allowed her own life to intertwine with those of the heroines of folk songs past. Battleplan is Bella’s most musically expansive and lyrically personal album to date; produced by Mattie Foulds and recorded with her touring band The Midnight Watch. And in the time it took to read this she may well have written and recorded another one.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

5 ***** Maverick Magazine "A winning stratagem from the folk princess. Is there anything not to like on the prolific Bella Hardy's latest studio album?" (Peter Palmer)

4**** The Guardian “Bella Hardy is a fine, no-nonsense interpreter of traditional music and an excellent songwriter, and on this album the two modes collide... a powerful set" (Robin Denselow)

fRoots Magazine "There are many levels on which to admire Bella Hardy. That voice, of course – so vulnerable, exposed and unadorned – will always be her greatest weapon of mass distraction but she’s also one of the best songwriters of her generation" (Colin Irwin)

Sunday Times “Stunning... there is an aura of sophistication that will win over listeners who never set foot in a folk club” (Clive Davis)

It’s been five years since Bella Hardy found herself nominated in the Best Original Song category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Three Black Feathers – the first song she ever wrote. In 2012 she won that same award for her powerful and moving account of life as a 19th century Stornoway Herring Girl – taken from her third album, Songs Lost & Stolen, which earned a four star review from The Guardian while The Independent called the entirely self-composed collection: “beautifully crafted and conceived with poetic flair.” In those few short years, Bella has become one of the most creative, prolific and original voices on the flourishing UK folk scene.

Growing up in Edale in the Peak District, with a family who sang in the local choir, book loving Bella was drawn to the tales contained in old ballads. But her path to a career in traditional music began with visits to folk festivals, joining a school ceilidh band, and attending the Folkworks summer school in Durham where, aged 13, she joined the sprawling, teenage ensemble The Pack with whom she performed for 10 years - appearing on the main stages of such institutions as Sidmouth, Warwick and Cambridge festivals. In 2004 she entered the BBC Young Folk Award and reached the finals - for which she taught herself to fiddle-sing.

In 2007 Bella added to her BA in English Literature with a Masters degree in Music from Newcastle University; emerging from her studies with the traditional and original songs that formed her impressive debut album Night Visiting (including material sourced from Edale’s neighbouring valley Castleton).

Accompanied by former Last Night’s Fun box player Chris Sherburn, Bella trod the folk club and festivals circuit, all the while embarking on projects as diverse as they were daunting in scale and ambition. Be that singing the Scottish ballad Annie Laurie on Radio 2’s Titanic: Minute by Minute programme (the song was said to have been heard on the SS Californian as it sailed by the doomed ship) or performing unaccompanied in the centre of a sold-out Royal Albert Hall during The Proms. More recently she co-wrote with former Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray, for his concept album The Life of Birds, and composed the music for Radio 4’s The People’s Post – a documentary on the history of the Post Office.

Bella’s second album, In The Shadow of Mountains saw her writing songs of modern social history (in particular the 2007 foot-and-mouth outbreak that devastated farming communities) and retellings of familiar folk tales in urban domestic settings (the highway-woman Sovay became a disconsolate housewife.) English Dance and Song magazine described it as: “lyrical portraiture that brings to mind no less than Lennon and McCartney.”

A period of Prince-like prolificacy followed the release of 2011’s award-winning Songs Lost & Stolen LP, beginning with an album inspired by and adapted from The Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire, published in 1867. The Dark Peak and The White, produced by Lau’s Kris Drever, confirmed her place as one of the scene's best singers, with MOJO magazine writing “lovingly presented, her singing is glorious”, while The Guardian called her vocal performance on the record “as fine, cool and no-nonsense as ever”.

In that same year Bella recorded and released yet another album: Bright Morning Star. Intended simply as a souvenir of her seasonal tour, the record - which combined yuletide standards with traditional carols (and even found room for Shakin’ Stevens and a Barenaked Ladies number) – received a surprise four star review from The Times who called the Christmas collection “a quiet, unassuming treasure trove.”

2012 also saw the fruition of a long-held plan to record an album with Brit folk trailblazer Eliza Carthy and friends Lucy Farrell and Kate Young. Initially just an idea in Northumbrian piping pioneer Kathryn Tickell’s head (according to Eliza she’d failed to notice they were all female singers and fiddle players), Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young released their debut album Laylam at the start of 2013.

This spring sees the release of battleplan, Bella Hardy’s latest studio album on which she’s given new perspectives to some of her favourite traditional songs and allowed her own life to intertwine with those of the heroines of folk songs past. Battleplan is Bella’s most musically expansive and lyrically personal album to date; produced by Mattie Foulds and recorded with her touring band The Midnight Watch. And in the time it took to read this she may well have written and recorded another one.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.