Karine Polwart

“One of the finest singer-songwriters in Britain” The Guardian
“Bright vocals and an unflinching social eye” The Observer

Karine draws from Scottish folk music’s long storytelling tradition while keeping pace with the ceaselessly changing times. Her ear for crafting enduring melodies, her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case, and the textural subtlety and cinematic lyricism of her words and music, all come together in songs of powerful contemporary relevance.

The songs themselves deal with humanity in all its many guises: there is tenderness, triumph and sorrow, raised flags of rebellion, flashes of anger at power abused and misused. Perhaps most frequently she deals in spare, unsentimental empathy, often with those who have been dealt the least playable hands in life.

Having studied philosophy and politics and later worked in the area of women’s and children’s rights, Polwart has always wanted her music to perform some useful social function. Much of her most recent writing concerns personal connections to place, memory and grief.

“For me” she says,“songs are one of the most powerful ways of making sense of the world. They’re for celebrating, lamenting, questioning, sharing, wondering. Nothing inspires me more as a musician and writer than the realisation that one of my songs means something to someone else”.