Irish folk musician Valerie Armstrong will release her second album “False Bride” on January 29th 2021. The harpist and singer has created an album that gives a contemporary twist to the sound of the traditional Irish ballad, mixing harp and voice with electronic percussion. Armstrong, made music industry headlines last year after being sampled by Grammy Award-winning artist James Blake.
The new album is a collaboration with Ken McHugh of Autamata and Cathy Davey fame. Armstrong’s collaboration with McHugh has allowed her to innovate upon the classic harp sound, creating songs which are all at once grounded in tradition yet modern and cinematic in feel. The album’s singles “Blackwaterside” and the title track “False Bride” are Broadside Ballads originating from the 17th to 19th century. "Blackwaterside" takes the form of the traditional Irish folk song with a melody reminiscent of "She Moved Through the Fair" and overlays it with electronic percussion to create a contemporary ambient sound evocative of Irish folklore, landscape and history. The Track "The Bay of Biscay" recounts the tale of a young wife who is visited by the ghost of her lost love.
Armstrong came to prominence last year when she was sampled by James Blake for the track “Barefoot in the Park” on his album “Assume Form”. Blake became a fan of Armstrong’s music after discovering her early recordings on Youtube. The Grammy Award-winning artist took to his twitter account to describe Armstrong’s work as “beautiful”.