The Handsome Meadow Boy, from the album So Slowly Slowly Got She Up (Folk Police Recordings, 2011)
My Coffin Shall Be Black, from the album So Slowly Slowly Got She Up (Folk Police Recordings, 2011)
Buy So Slowly Slowly Got She Up on CD:
Buy Good Grief on CD:
Download Good Grief and Elle's debut album Testimony from Bandcamp:
"Raw and compelling, passionate and engaging" (Time Out)
"Captivatingly fearless… sings as though her very life depends on it" (fRoots)
Elle Osborne was born on the North Sea coast of Lincolnshire where she taught herself to play the fiddle (and ride Gypsy horses on the beach, although that’s another story). She was raised amongst folk singers, wrote songs from an early age and with the encouragement of Barry Dransfield, began accompanying herself on fiddle.
She toured the world solo for five years, including North America and five tours of Australia. Elle’s debut cd, Testimony, featured in the fRoots magazine Best of Year Critics’ Poll, and was described by Colin Irwin as "one of the most compelling performances of the year”.
Inspired by the language and beauty of English folksong, Elle performs both her own songs and re-interpretations of traditional songs (many of which she nicked from her Dad): themes and melodies deeply rooted in tradition are effortlessly combined with exploratory settings involving aural collage and found sound.
Elle's experimental folk noise duo Lindsey Woolsey featured on the Lal Waterson tribute album Migrating Bird (an offering that was described as “willful dissonance” by the Times!). She also composes for dance, and makes sound installations - most recently LongLines for the National Fishing Heritage Museum.
Following a serious car crash in 2008, Elle began performing solo again last year, as well as collaborating with Alasdair Roberts. Elle has also played with James Yorkston and Spiers & Boden, and shared stages with Cath & Phil Tyler, King Creosote and many others.
Elle's new album, So Slowly Slowly Got She Up is out now. This is an album of mainly traditional songs featuring a supporting cast that includes Alasdair Roberts, Cath and Phil Tyler and Alex Neilson of Trembling Bells. Barry Dransfield describes it as "a delicately compelling recording which combines subtle rootsy touches with an easy and natural originality."
Here's what James Yorkston has to say about it: "I asked Elle to play a show with me back in 2003 after I heard her amazing debut album Testimony ... I've kept in touch with her ever since; collaborating on the odd track, meeting up at festivals and such. Then, recently, she sent me her new album. I was amazed. The singing, the arrangements, the atmosphere... It's my album of the year so far, for those who are interested in that sort of thing. And there's been a few good albums already, including one or two I've bleated my way onto. God Bless the good ship ElleO and all who sail with her."
What they're saying about So Slowly Slowly Got She Up:
"So Slowly Slowly Got She Up is an epiphany not just in Elle’s career but in British folk music. It is by far one of the most beautiful re-interpretations of traditional folksong I have heard in a long time... it’s our Album of the Year so far as well! Soul stirring, Magnificent and Beautiful!" Folk Radio UK
"Samples, drones, accordion, the tension of her voice on a set of great traditional material, and Alex Neilson’s drumming make Elle Osborne’s first album since 2000 a compelling listen. Opening with Alasdair Roberts playing a striking but out-of-tune guitar figure demands chutzpah, but this is one of the most original, confident folk albums of 2011." The Independent
"Perhaps Elle Osborne isn’t really a folk musician, but an avant-garde experimenter using traditional tunes as vehicles for her ragged, ripe visions... It’s taken Osborne ten years to complete her second album. Luckily, her approach appears to be timeless." (Stewart Lee, The Times)
"An instant winner. Whether its a 19th century Shaker hymn or a modern peice like Barry Dransfield's Handsome Meadow Boy, she inhabits a song fully... Slowly Slowly marks a welcome return to the fold." (Neil Spencer, Uncut ****)
"Quality trad... she brings a modern dewiness to the 10 traditional tracks here. Although the musicianship is excellent, I particularly found myself drawn to the unaccompanied Fair Annie." (Jeanette Leech, Shindig)
"Wayward focus and maverick intensity... the sheer rawness with which she presents this mostly traditional collection is slowly winning me over. There’s something wonderfully eerie, for example, about the way her droning fiddle dominates the mix over her voice and the waves of Alex Neilson’s drums on the shanty I’m Bound Away and it takes a rare sort of recklessness to bring something new to a song as well-known as Three Score And Ten. Whatever else, she doesn’t want for courage or imagination." (Colin Irwin, fRoots)
"Certainly worth the wait... a superb return from Elle Osborne." (Bright Young Folk)
What they're saying about Good Grief:
"Osborne's singing is evocative of long departed voices in the fields, lamenting lost love and grievous hurt. Current folk is at its most arresting when it possesses this kind of astringency. Good Grief whets the appetite for Osborne's forthcoming album." (The Wire)
"Folk music, probably more than any other genre, is inextricably linked to its traditions and Elle Osborne would seem to be the perfect embodiment this. I can only hope that her album released this spring is in the same vein as this. Winter can not end soon enough." (8/10, Americana UK)
"There’s a sense that Osborne is drawing lines between the drones and atmospheres of the avant-garde and their ancient antecedents in the British folk tradition... This one’s a good start to 2011." (John Mulvey in Uncut's Wild Mercury Sounds blog)
"Elle Osborne sketches barren landscapes for her sea-shanty style, sorrowful fiddle ballads... sung by a unique voice characterised by its distinct Northern inflection—its timbre flickering and quivering, full of emotion." (Five stars, Maverick Magazine)
"An EP that feels as though you want to hold it to your chest and feed it soup... It's got a real timeless feel to it that enhances its dark charm." (Fatea Magazine)
"Avant-garde rock aesthetics melded with traditional folk oddness to create something stark and unsettling. An impressive display that promises much for Osborne’s forthcoming LP" (Wears the Trousers)
"Beautifully beguiling, simple, uncluttered, perfectly textured rich folk songs that slowly slowly reveal themselves. Just a rich voice and rich strings, four fine songs and everything just quietly right." (Organ)
"A well balanced and rewarding collection of material, with a lot of depth and as such will benefit from repeat listening. An excellent and unusual EP that will raise much anticipation for Elle Osborne’s upcoming full album." (Bright Young Folk)
"Nothing compares with her deft, piercingly touching delivery... Good Grief is a stunning example of her art" (Tim Carroll, Folkwords)