Songs Of Separation

Songs Of Separation

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Stock Status (?)
In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Folk, Celtic
Navigator Records
January 29, 2016

Format: Compact Disc



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Nominated for and winning the 'Best Album' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017.

Songs of Separation brought together ten female folk musicians from Scotland and England, to create a recording which reflects on the issue of 'separation' in its many forms, through traditional song.

The SoS musician team features the musical skills and "big thinking" of Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, two of the UK's most celebrated voices, Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, two boundary-breaking Scots, Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans, from the award winning English ensemble Lady Maisery, Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill, brilliant backline players who have worked in both English and Scottish trad scenes, and Hannah Read, a New York-based musician who spent much of her childhood on the Isle of Eigg.

Taking place on the beautiful Isle of Eigg in June 2015, the musicians spent an intensive week rehearsing and recording, including site recordings at the two sites central to the 'Big Women of Eigg' legend.

Celebrating the similarities and differences in our musical, linguistic and cultural heritage, and set in the context of a post-referendum world, the work aims to evoke emotional responses and prompt new thinking about the issue of separation as it occurs in all our lives. The collected songs aim to get to the heart of what we feel when we are faced with a separation, both good and bad. Providing a 'thread through time', joining us to previous generations who shared the same human experiences and responses to separation, and to the generations that will follow.

Press Quotes

"The harmonies are gorgeous and the lyrics thought-provoking. A good start to the year for folk music" (4*)

The Telegraph (Martin Chilton)

"Eliza Carthy, Mary MacMaster, Kate Young , Hannah James, Rowan Rheingans, Jenny Hill, Jenn Butterworth, Hazel Askew, Hannah Read and Karine Polwart are almost enough for a female folk football XI, and indeed a dream team who have explored a fascinating tradition and come up with a worthy legacy in a veritable cornucopia of music"

Bright Young Folk

"Songs of Separation is a superlative and essential record, from its initial concept through to the final result; it's a huge accomplishment by anybody's standards and all involved have every right to feel justifiably proud of their achievement"

Folk Radio UK

"As a collaboration it is immensely successful, in terms of arrangement it is polished and it has the hallmarks of high-calibre research and workings of historical songs. It has a brazen and multifarious approach to separation that cleverly adapts and develops the two nations' proud heritage of oral folk song into a relevant and accomplished treat that traditional folk and other folk will enjoy in equal measure"


"Songs of Separation… all resistance is hopeless!"


"In an ever shifting culture, a world ever on the change and one doing so at an ever faster rate, this album is the perfect counterpoint of traditional sounds and adapting to an unwritten future and proves that as much as things change, some can still stay the same". "It's a musical Trojan horse, a familiar package but one that may contain keys to the future, a future that we are all going to have to deal with in our own way"

Dancing About Architecture

"Songs of Separation' combines folk icons that quite simply require no introduction other than to provide a stellar listing of talent that includes: Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart, Mary Macmaster and Kate Young, Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans, Jenn Butterworth and Jenny Hill and Hannah Read. Scan that list of musicians and before you listen it's a fair bet you're in for a significant treat, and that's exactly what you get as 'Songs of Separation' delivers on so many levels"

Folk Words

"SoS is a varied, thoughtful set that stays well clear of political sloganeering. There's fine harmony singing on Gaelic waulking work songs and the ancient Unst Boat Song, and songs about separation from nature and the supernatural, and from families. The best tracks include Hazel Askew's music-hall weepie London Lights, Karine Polwart's Echo Mocks the Corncrake (the birds can be found on Eigg), and Eliza Carthy's intriguing story of change and fish, Cleaning the Stones. According to the rousing penultimate medley, "hope lies over the border".

The Guardian

"The sisterly joie de vivre marks out Songs Of Separation as a very special record indeed".


"Collaboratively, spiritually and musically... it works superbly"



More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number NAVIGATOR094
Barcode 0805520620949
Number of items 1
Packaging type Digipak
Imported No
Weight 70g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 140mm x 10mm x 125mm