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on 31 July 2012
Emily's debut album, The Glamoury, was one of my favourites of that year. Her second offering continues the same type of disturbing fantasy themes, dwelling on swans and lullabies this time. The opening track, Hatchlings, tells the story of Leda, and her 2 sets of twins in the form of swans hatched from eggs. Silver Swan is based on a madrigal sung beautifully with Lucy Farrell. Lullaby fragments include Hushabye Birdy and Black Sheep. There are 2 songs that are inspired by Angela Carter story's, Hinge of the Year a more contemporary tale based around an intoxicated New year, and Ash Girl tells of a lost child helped by a dead mother. Macabre images with memorable lyrics run through the album, such as the opening to Sleeping Beauty, " I break my finger just to see three drops of blood that tell me I'm not sleeping". Hollin reflects the love of the joys of nature, with some new verses added to an old song. Emily takes lead vocals, sometimes with a "little girl" voice, playing concertina, banjo and ukele. She is joined on the album by Lucy Farrell on harmony vocals,viola and saw; and Rachel Newton on harmony vocals together with harp and fiddle. Many of the compositions are original songs apart from the lullaby extracts, with a cover of the traditional Old Mother Eve,a subversive retelling of the biblical Adam and Eve story. There are special guest spots by Jonny Kearney on guitar, Will Scrimshaw on percussion, ,Lucy Deakin on Cello and Alasdair Roberts on guitar and vocals. Overall, I found this was not quite as immediate as her debut, but the songs grow on you with repeated plays. She has come up with an excellent strong second album cornering a niche of wierd fantasy folk songs, with memorable lines that stay with you. The multi- tracking of vocals at times can be spine tingling , and it is distinctly different.
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on 21 May 2013
Beautiful, delicate, magical music, some penned by Emily Portman, some traditional songs arranged by her.
Don't be fooled by the ethereal lightness of touch - this music has a real dark side to it, as well as some powerful messages. She cites inspiration from author Angela Carter and the subversion of the fairy tale.
Emily Portman is a master craftsman of song and her tunes will stay in your head for a long time, as will her haunting and unique singing.
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on 25 August 2012
Once again I found Emily's vocal qualities utterly entrancing. The quality of her voice drew me in as with her previous album "The Glamoury" from the very beginning. The arrangements are sparse yet utterly compelling and it is evident from the summary of the sources she drew from (in the pullout in the CD cover) that they are varied and well sourced: A lullaby from the Queen of Sparta to a self penned lullaby for "world-weary grown-ups" via a madrigal from Orlando Gibbons. Best of all it's another great CD from a Newcastle upon Tyne based folk singer!
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on 14 January 2013
Emily Portman continues to elaborate on her highly original and emotional charged 'glamorous' vision of the World. Nothing to match Tongue-tied here, but still excellent. I would also like to hear Emily's take on more traditional songs.
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on 22 August 2012
Having been mightily pleased by Emily Portman's first album "Glamoury", I bought "Hatchlings" on the strength of listening to the brief samples of each track on Amazon. I was not disappointed. Ignore the rather sniffy review on the BBC website, which is critical of a perceived "lack of development" from the first album.
The last time I was this impressed by anyone offering a different twist on music inspired by tradition, mythology and folklore, it was Spiers & Boden. I now own all their albums. All are superb, and all are in the same mould - why attempt spurious "development" when the music arrives as magical and fully-formed as theirs, or as Leda's offspring in the title track of "Hatchlings"?

I can't wait for the third album. And I hope, when it comes, to find that Emily Portman's music continues to delve the same themes and to weave the same magic.
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on 12 October 2012
Outstanding and beautiful - this delightful CD has captured the essence of every faery tale I ever loved - it is weird and wonderful. Particularly fond of Ashgirl and Sleeping beauty -- my small niece and I sing happily to 'Old Mother Eve she liked apples' - I have never heard such a positive twist to our old creation story. Then there is Emily whose vocal style is both simple, clear and beautiful. I heard her sing 'Stick Stock' one night on Mike Harding and her voice and artistry captured me. I am now a devoted fan.
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on 13 October 2012
Somehow I missed the first Emily portman release and so was very surprised to find just how good this album is. It really is magical and I've now purchased the first and looking to catch a gig near me with a little look. Rather than nu folk this is new folk music, new songs about new and old tales alike. Brilliant I play it often. If you like folk you will like this,however if your into death metal it might not be for you but give it a chance and you may well be surprised
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on 25 May 2013
Beautifully produced and performed.

Emily Portman is a fine musician and singer.If you have not listented to Emily Portman before you will be impressedd by the pwer of her delivery.
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on 18 August 2012
Abosolutely love this new album of Emily Portman's, definitely one of her best so far! If you love Emily's beautifully etheral and haunting harmonies about wickedly dark and twisted tales then you will not be disappointed!!!! Certainly a must buy for folk fans everywhere... I hope you enjoy it much as I have been :)
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on 19 October 2013
A perfectly good recording. Not really up to the quality of the first album - The Glamoury, which is excellent.
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