Emily Portman


Some duo dates with Rob Harbron available in June 2018.


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Nominated ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016

Emily Portman is the 2013 holder of the BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Original Song; an accolade which reflects her power to lure listeners into a complex and darkly surreal netherworld, conjuring a dark and brooding realm. Her ethereal voice conveys a world of dark storytelling, cruel deeds and sordid city landscapes, part inspired by traditional balladry and part by rich literary sources, from the myth of Leda and the Swan to the magical realism of Angela Carter.

Emily’s most recent album Coracle (released in June 2015) is her most ambitious yet, scaling new creative heights. Moving deftly between bare-boned tales of metamorphosis and songs brimful with fragile life, Coracle reinforces Emily’s growing reputation as a dazzlingly original singer and songwriter. Her first entirely self-penned album, Coracle subtly weaves together themes from myth and folklore with personal reflections on motherhood and bereavement.

Coracle has been gathering momentum with a wave of glowing reviews. The album was named a ‘Best Album of 2015’ by the Telegraph and has received airplay from the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Late Junction, plus a BBC live session for Mark Radcliffe’s Folk Show.

In December 2016 Emily Portman will be touring with The Coracle Band, a stellar cast of musicians who featured on the studio album, now brought together to recreate Coracle in an ambitious live show. Joining Emily’s celebrated and longstanding collaborators Lucy Farrell (viola, saw, voice) and Rachel Newton (harp and voice), The Coracle Band features virtuosic string player Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead, BBC Folk Musician of the Year 2015) guitarist M G Boulter (Lucky Strikes) and classical percussionist Toby Kearney (2006 BBC Young Musician of the Year). Sought-after sound engineer Andy Bell (Bellowhead, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr) who produced and engineered Coracle, will be providing live sound on the road for The Coracle Band, enhancing the experience for audiences, whatever the space.

Together The Coracle Band will realise the full breadth and beauty of Emily’s finest work to date. Percussion, vibes, pedal steel, electric harp and soaring strings combine with a veritable choir of voices. This will be an unmissable new act for 2016!

Praise for Coracle:
‘Entrancing and unsettling. A marvellous, original work’ Observer

‘A tribute to her powerful imagination’ Living Tradition

‘Spooky and surreal’ Guardian

‘Together with her previous two albums The Glamoury and Hatchlings, Emily has created an immaculate triptych of darkly brilliant songs. Make sure to be a completist and get this in your life.’ English Dance and Song Magazine

“An intensely luminous collection of songs whose articulate lyrics, virtuoso performances and intricate arrangements never overshadow the very real humanity which is at the heart of it all.” Folk Radio UK

“Intense and alluring” Fatea

Tour Dates

07/10/2017Preston Minster (with Alasdair Roberts)PRESTON