New folk album ‘Invisible Music’

Polly Paulusma will be releasing a new album in late spring 2020 entitled Invisible music – folk songs that influenced Angela Carter.

‘Invisible Music’ is an album of folk songs and spoken word recorded with help from Jack Harris (guitar), Jed Bevington (fiddle) and John Parker (upright bass) and containing readings from singer songwriter Kathryn Williams and novelist Kirsty Logan.
‘Invisible Music’ is a songwriter’s celebration of the musicality of her favourite novelist. Paulusma champions and showcases musicality in the prose of Angela Carter, one of the twentieth century’s finest novelists. She illustrates through sounded examples the recent discoveries she’s made — that Carter was a folk singer during the 1960s folk revival, and that her writing was profoundly influenced by the performing of traditional folk song. 
Some of the folk songs that influenced Carter — for example ‘Barbary Allen’, ‘Lucy Wan’, and ‘The Banks of Red Roses’ — are rendered here by Paulusma who, for six years, has been researching the effects of singing folk songs on Carter’s prose style at the University of East Anglia. Prose passages read by Paulusma, the songwriter Kathryn Williams and the novelist Kirsty Logan are interspersed between the songs, illustrating how Carter’s prose absorbed the themes, images and rhythms of folk song.
Paulusma, who teaches Cambridge English students between releasing records, explains, “I have never really seen the difference between great literature and great song. For me, reading is and always has been an audial experience. Some writers are just more musical than others.” Paulusma’s work asks us to reimagine Carter’s prose as performance, to recreate the ‘invisible music’ of Carter’s prose every time we read her, in a dynamic exchange of trust and understanding, a reverberation through space and time, a sympathetic resonance.
Paulusma released her first album, ‘Scissors in my Pocket’ on One Little Indian to widespread international critical acclaim in 2004. Uncut declared, “Never mind all the fuss about Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse. As far as Uncut is concerned, the finest young British female singer-songwriter to emerge in the last 12 months is the brainy Cambridge graduate Polly Paulusma, with a debut album of mature and literate songs brimful of emotional resonance, potent melodies and meltingly heartfelt vocals.” Paulusma was subsequently catapulted round the world, supporting Bob Dylan, Jamie Cullum, Coldplay and Marianne Faithfull, touring the USA and Europe, and playing Glastonbury, T in the Park and Cambridge Folk Festival. ‘Fingers and Thumbs’ followed in 2007, produced by Ken Nelson, and in 2012 founded the Wild Sound folk label and released the work of nine other artists before becoming a folk imprint at One Little Indian in 2016. ‘Invisible Music’ will be Paulusma’s eighth album release.
‘Invisible Music’ will be released on Wild Sound, a folk imprint at One Little Indian Records.
Photo by Annie Dressner of Cambridge Headshot Photography.

First Friday video and first live streamed gig for Patrons

My first week creating special online content for Patreon patrons has been fabulous!

My first Friday Video discussed the final assembly of that week’s Pivot song release, ‘Boards At The Window’, working with Astrid Williamson and James Hawkins to create the month’s track.

My first monthly Sunday gig was broadcast live from the shed and a friendly gang of patrons assembled to listen, make requests, and enjoy a Sunday evening in the company of like minded souls. It was a joy.

If you want to join in, become my Patron: www.patreon.com/pollypaulusma

On tour February 2020

My great friend Annie Dressner and I are  doing an 8 day UK tour 22-29 February. Many tickets have already gone… so please buy them while you can and come say hello to us! All ticket links below…

22 FEBRUARY/ NEWCASTLE/ Cluny 2
https://www.ticketweb.uk/…/polly-paulusma-annie-dr…/10080985

23 FEBRUARY/ DURHAM / Old Cinema Launderette
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/486540

24 FEBRUARY/ MANCHESTER / The Castle Hotel
https://www.seetickets.com/…/polly…/the-castle-hotel/1461212

25 FEBRUARY/ BIRMINGHAM / Kitchen Garden Cafe
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/487101

26 FEBRUARY/ LONDON / Green Note
https://www.ticketweb.uk/…/polly-paulusma-annie-dr…/10043535

27 FEBRUARY/ SHEFFIELD / Cafe 9
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/486929

28 FEBRUARY/ BRISTOL / Folk House
https://www.seetickets.com/…/pol…/folk-house-bristol/1459821

29 FEBRUARY/ WINCHESTER / Railway Inn
https://www.railwayinn.pub/…/polly-paulusma-and-annie-dres…/

Be a patron

Will you join other fans and become a patron?

I have started a Patreon page (patreon.com/pollypaulusma) where, from January 2020, I will be posting a weekly video diary and streaming a monthly live gig for patrons, content not available to view anywhere else.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is an online platform which enables people to offer continued support to their favourite artists and creators for a small monthly contribution (typically $5), in return for content not available anywhere else. If enough people put a few pennies or cents in the hat each month, their collective power enables an artist to devote their life to their art.

How do I become a patron?

Visit my Patreon page (patreon.com/pollypaulusma), and click the orange button ‘Become a patron’ to sign up. In return, you’ll get access to a weekly video diary charting my creative life, a live-streaming monthly  gig from my shed, and, if you’re not already subscribed, a new song a month as part of the ‘Pivot’ slow album project.

Tour February 2020

I’m back out on the road in February 2020! WOOHOOO! I’m performing a co-headline show with my dear friend and collaborator Annie Dressner. She’ll play a set of some of her songs, and then I’ll play a set of some of mine.

Sat 22 Feb – Newcastle – Cluny 2 – tickets
Sun 23 Feb – Durham – Old Cinema Launderette – tickets
Mon 24 Feb – Manchester – The Castle – tickets
Tue 25 Feb – Birmingham – Kitchen Garden Cafe – tickets
Wed 26 Feb – London – Green Note – tickets
Thur 27 Feb – Sheffield – Cafe 9 – tickets
Fri 28 Feb – Bristol – Bristol Folk Club – tickets
Sat 29 Feb – Winchester – Railway Inn – tickets

I have missed playing live so much, in particular playing live night after night, which to my mind is the best way to do it.

Come!

Slow album ‘Pivot’ – a song a month

How to join ‘Pivot’: become a Patron:

For $5 a month, you get all the songs from the project so far,  and a new song emailed to you on the first of every month until December 2020. As a Patron you also gain access to an exclusive weekly video diary, posted each Friday lunchtime, AND a monthly gig streamed live from my shed!  Woah!

Sign up at patreon.com/pollypaulusma.

What is ‘Pivot’ all about?

  • I send you a new song on the first of every month. I send it to you in form of a unique Bandcamp code which you can then download.
  • You can choose from a selection of formats, from WAV (if disk space is no issue) to MP3 (if you need something a little smaller).
  • ‘Pivot’ is my latest and fourth album, which I’ve been releasing a song a month across two years (24 songs in all) since January 2019.
  • ‘Pivot’ is short for ‘The Pivot Round Which The World Turns’.
  • These songs — which examine our daily pivoting roles as child, parent, lover, friend, grandchild, grandparent, and everything in between — are the product of the last six years and contain songs cowritten with Kathryn Williams, Tom McRae, Astrid Williamson, Danny Wilson, David Ford, Martin Carr, Laura Jessica Barnett and Mark Davies Markham.
  •  I started in January 2019 but it’s not too late to join the club: I just catch you up.
  • These songs will not be made public until 2021. They are not on Youtube or Spotify or any of the streaming services.
  • I hope to release the album physically in 2021 on double CD and double LP, after which it will also be available on streaming services.

Kickstarter – help Polly make her next album

Polly has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to pay for two days in studio with John Parker (double bass) and Rastko Rasic in September.

Here Polly explains the project:

I have a great big pile of songs that’s been growing since 2012 and I’m going into the studio in September to record the drums/bass tracks for these with John Parker (double bass) and Rastko Rasic (drums) at Three Circles Barn near Saffron Walden in Essex. I need your help to pay for musicians and studio time. After that, I’ll be tinkering away on the recordings in my shed, building up layers of guitars, pianos, tambourines, melody horns, mandolins, wine glasses, dulcimers, voices, hums and other noises. That part of the process is free. It’s just me and my time.

As time has passed I’ve noticed a theme running through the songs, about the ways in which we pivot daily in our various roles: mother, daughter, father, son, lover, friend, confidante, student, teacher, neighbour, friend. I have been wanting to make these recordings for a long time but I’ve felt uneasy about making an “Album” in the conventional sense, for reasons of family, of life, and of health…. I’ve experienced in myself a resistance to the idea of making a Great Big Statement, and a longing to return to the form of the song, that little perfect crack in the fabric that lets the light in, when it’s right.

What’s really exciting for me are the strength of the co-writes that exist in this pot of songs: work with novelist Laura Barnett and playwright Mark Davies Markham, and musicians Danny Wilson (Grand Drive, Danny & The Champions of the World), David Ford, and Tom McRae, among others.

So I don’t want to make an album in the normal sense this time around; I want to build it up slowly, at my own pace, just releasing the songs one by one to you, dropping them like breadcrumbs, when they are ready. I want to give each song the time and space to resonate, to occupy its own space for a bit. I want the album to build itself slowly in your head. And then, at the end of the process, in about 2 years’ time, I hope to collate together the favourites (yours and mine) into what you might call an album. A vinyl album. We can talk about that part later. This is the first part.

 

Cambridge Folk Festival: 5 Aug 2018

I have just been asked to play a set at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Last time I was there was 2012 (see photo) — now I’m working on a trad folk album it seems like the perfect place to be playing this summer. I’ll be in the Club Tent for a 20 minute set at 1.50pm on  Sunday, 5 August. For tickets and more information click here.