LCM ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Genre: Folk, Singer-Songwriter, Acoustic
Location: Somerset, UK
Discography: Tide & Time EP (2016)
Record Label: TCR Music
Kitty Macfarlane is a very talented Somerset-based singer and songwriter. Her lyrics combine honest snapshots of everyday humanity with the bigger questions that have connected minds and voices for centuries, driven by her own fingerpicked guitar. As well as the release of her debut EP 'Tide & Time' featuring Sam Kelly (co-producer), Jamie Francis, Lukas Drinkwater, Maya McCourt and Ciaran Algar. Kitty gained her first national airplay on the BBC Radio 2 folk show with Mark Radcliffe and Tom Robinson's show on BBC 6Music. 2016 saw Kitty complete an extensive national support tour with award-winning duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman. Other highlights range from support sets for Seth Lakeman, Alasdair Roberts, Rachel Sermanni, Blair Dunlop and Feast of Fiddles, to appearing as a theme-tune on Radio 4, being a featured artist for a BBC Introducing documentary and making the semi-final of the BBC Young Folk Award in 2015. Kitty has also recently been awarded a creative bursary from the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) for an exciting new songwriting project, which we are very much looking forward to hearing.
Kitty has a full festival schedule this summer with dates including Barking Folk Festival on the 10th June and Folk By The Oak at Hatfield House on the 16th July....followed by a date at the Green Note in Camden on the 18th July.
ABOUT THE SONGS
Kitty Macfarlane's songs are charged with a sense of place, more often than not her home of Somerset. Mankind's transactions with the planet, whether those of small French fishing communities, or colossal nuclear power stations, work their way into her songs, alongside a deep interest in shared human experience. Her songwriting explores the connections between literature and land, with influences ranging from Keats to Karine Polwart - four years studying English at university being partly to blame. Her live set showcases the clarity and gravity of her vocals and dynamic guitar accompaniment, with themes as diverse as inundated Somerset Levels, climate change, adolescence and worries about mortality.
ABOUT THE EP
After graduating from university in 2015, Kitty teamed up with acclaimed folk artist Sam Kelly (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Folk Award 2016) as producer to make her debut EP Tide & Time (released March 2016). Mixed by Joshua Franklin, the record features guest musicians Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Ciaran Algar, Lukas Drinkwater, Maya McCourt and Kieran Giffen, who lend a weight to a set of five compelling songs. Wrecking Days is Kitty's response to Jane and Nick Darke's beautiful Cornish documentary 'The Wrecking Season', tracing stories of objects washed up on shorelines, while Bus Song is a candid tribute to her life as a 16 year old in rural South West England. She composed Lamb as an extension of William Blake's poem, with melodic nods to Tavener's choral arrangement, giving it the panoramic backdrop of the north coast of Somerset, up at Steart Marshes near Hinkley point, juxtaposing nature and mankind, beauty and brutality. Tide & Time is the product of hours spent gathering shellfish on French beaches at low tide, learning tricks of the trade from fishermen and women in Normandy throughout her childhood. The EP culminates with a powerfully stark arrangement of Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett's 'Song to the Siren', accompanied by Kitty on electric guitar.
Working on this project has led to some interesting collaborations, and Kitty also sings on both Sam Kelly's album The Lost Boys and Ciaran Algar's The Final Waltz. Go to the Reviews tab to read more about these.