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Night Visiting

Bella Hardy

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Album Review

Bella Hardy's debut rocked the English folk world in 2007, and quite rightly so. The girl from Edale in Derbyshire was largely unknown, but this is so assured and accomplished that it established her immediately as a force. It's a very bold disc, starting out with her own composition, "Three Black Feathers," since covered by several others, and which has the feel of an authentic traditional song. There's material from her home region, such as "Searching for Lambs" and "Down in Yon Forest" (whose roots lie in Castleton, in the next valley to where Hardy was raised). There are plenty of older songs, and a lovely cover of the meditative "Heart Hill," for an album whose maturity belies Hardy's young years. There's a cool warmth to her voice, one that can be quite emotional, as with "Molly Vaughan" and "Dog & Gun." The arrangements are sparse throughout, but very effective, and even when she sings unaccompanied, it never feels empty. Debuts as good and as convincing as this are few and far between.

Biography

Born: Edale, Derbyshire, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s

One of a new breed of young fiddler/singers who emerged in Britain in the 2000s, Bella Hardy has an intense, heartfelt approach to singing that has drawn comparisons to June Tabor. In contrast to the fey-voiced singers who have become popular in recent years, her deeply emotional delivery of traditional ballads in particular sets her apart from most of her generation, getting to the heart of the song, while also revealing her as a talented writer of songs in a traditional style. From Edale, Derbyshire,...
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Night Visiting, Bella Hardy
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