Music Q&A: Edgelarks

Edgelarks is Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin’s fourth studio album, one of Mojo’s top 10 folk LPs of last year – as well as the new name for their band. Hannah chats ahead of northern dates

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What informs your music and songwriting?
I love a story – something unusual, something unexpected, something that shocks you into remembering the wonder and truth of the world.

How have you evolved as an artist evolved over the years?
I think evolution artistically is hard to quantify. I’ve certainly refined my methods a lot; I have clearer ideas of how to structure a song, how to go about sitting down to write. I’ve got a lot better at a lot of the technical stuff. But creatively, I’m still searching for the next idea, just as I ever was.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?
I write this from Tasmania, about to play the Cygnet Folk Festival. We’re back in the UK soon, when we’ll start formal work on a new batch of songs. Of course, the informal work is already well underway. We’re looking forward to our March tour as well.

What’s on your rider?
Something vegetarian for me. Phil will eat anything, but he does ask for a pint of real ale – preferably a local one.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
We had the wonderful experience of going to Japan for some gigs but there was one particularly surreal afternoon when we were invited to give a workshop in a remote rural school. Etiquette is very important there, so the shoes came off and it was hilarious watching Phil with his size 11 feet hobbling round in tiny purple Japanese school child slippers! We combined an English folk tune with the children’s amazing Taiko drumming; then Phil taught beatboxing to some very shy 10 year olds. There was a beautiful presentation ceremony at the end but, since we don’t speak any Japanese, we were fairly bewildered. The children were asked to tell us what they thought of us! Our friend, who was translating, maintains it was all nice comments… To cap it all off, this was all happening in front of a television crew – we really are big in Japan!

What song do you wish you’d written?
So many! The whole album Graceland, by Paul Simon, or any Joni Mitchell song!

What’s your worst lyric?
Now that would be telling. Suffice to say it never made it onto an album!

Tour dates including Stoke, Sheffield, Galgate and West Kirby

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