“Joyful, life-affirming and even a bit kick-ass feminist”
- The Blackbird Collective
“Excellent musicians, beautiful harmonies and a
fresh approach to traditional music”
- Tony Birch, FATEA Magazine
“This...delightful take on folk music was fully backed up
with skilled and touching performances”
- The Progressive Aspect
Julu Irvine & Heg Brignall have taken the folk scene by storm with their unusual and fresh approach to folk music. What makes them stand out is their wonderful chemistry and charisma on stage, natural humour and two beautifully matched voices. With an unusual mix of cascading, dramatic piano; intricate, fingerstyle guitar; flute, whistles and harmonium, Julu and Heg bring an exciting take on folk storytelling with their evocative and distinctive sound.
Their original songs are reflections of the world around them and it is their exquisite vocal harmonies and soul-baring song-writing which set the pair apart. Each song is carefully crafted and arranged, telling tales of struggle and triumph against all odds; from both their own lives and from stories they have found. What drew them together as songwriters was their shared love of collecting stories and turning them into songs; both have written about their grandparents and stories their family members have shared. Julu and Heg combine their powerful song-writing, weaving stories and crisp vocal harmonies to create a beautiful, pure sound.
Alongside their captivating original music, the duo seek out traditional songs with female characters at the fore, upholding and unearthing the female heroines of folk. And where the story ends with heart-break or death for these forgotten women, Julu and Heg have re-written the endings, allowing the poor, heart-broken maids to rise into triumphant heroes.
Their latest single release Gather, which was released during lockdown 2020, was recorded by Lukas Drinkwater at Polyphonic Recording and has seen a flurry of interest from BBC radio, local radio, podcasts and playlists. The three-track single encompasses the duo’s shared ethos of the importance of connection and community and is a tonic for the divisive times we are living through. “We’re searching for light in this long, cold winter” sings the chorus of Gather, which is an offering of strength and hope.
The full studio album, which will be the duo’s debut, is due to be recorded in early 2021 following delays due to the pandemic. The album is a collection of the duos finest songs and will showcase their dynamic and moving songs.
Their home-recorded debut four-track EP Unfair Maids was released in 2018 and features some of the well-known traditional songs which helped the duo establish their sound.
Julu and Heg are now busy writing new music and preparing for their album recording. They are looking forward to performing at their rescheduled 2020 dates next year. With 2021 bookings lined up at some of the UK’s finest folk festivals, including Sidmouth Folk Week, London Folk Festival and Priddy, they are now taking bookings throughout 2021, with tour dates to be announced in the new year.