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about

In the autumn of 2017, after many months of intense touring, we put out a call. We hadn't written any music, or practised, for far too long – did anyone have a place to which we could retreat, to work on new material?

Amidst many kind offers of help, our friend Jon introduced us to Paul and Jella, who offered us a week in a cottage deep in the west Cumbrian Lakes.

This album is the result. It was an incredible gift, to carve out time away from the world, and explore ideas long hoarded in notebooks. We stocked the fridge, banked the fire, and wrote.
We found that we were writing about hope. The troubled world didn't seem to need any more sad songs! We had been lucky enough to experience kindness, solace, rest and welcome, and these were now the things we wanted to sing about.

We returned home from Cumbria with a suitcase full of songs. Songs to sing against sadness, loneliness, and the erosions of time; songs of the hills, of wild rain and sunshine, of the circles of all things; songs for tired hearts, troubled minds, and soulsick wanderers. Songs of hope.

Inspired by the sound we were making in the cottage, we wanted to approach the recording differently to previous albums we've made. We decided to capture the live sound of the duo, keeping to two instruments, two vocals, with the occasional addition of foot percussion, foot pedalled shruti, and harmonica on a neck brace.

We hope that you enjoy it.

Hannah and Phil x

credits

released May 17, 2019

This album was written, in large part, in April 2018 at Woodend, Cumbria.

Recorded December 2018 - January 2019 by Mark Tucker at The Green Room, Devon

Produced by Mark Tucker with Phillip Henry.
All songs by Hannah Martin, except Wanting Nothing, Time Away, Wander, and The Longest Day, by Henry / Martin; and Spencer The Rover, trad. arr. Henry / Martin. Arrangements by Phillip Henry.

Photography by Jolyon Holroyd
Graphic design, artwork and cyanotyping by Sam Cooke
Original cyanotypes by Hannah Martin

With thanks to -
Mark, Jolyon and Sam for lending us your talents.
Jon, for finding the place, and Paul and Jella for making us so welcome - for your kindness, and for the inspiration. Very special thanks to all three of you xxx

Several books were of particular significance in the writing of these songs. I am thankful to Nick Groom's The Seasons, Kathleen Jamie's Findings, and Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark for all their wisdom.

This album could not have been made without the support of our amazing crowdfunder team. With enormous thanks to:

Executive Producers - Jane and John Walton, Neil and Lesley Sibson, Nigel and Maria Nash, and Ian Dutton and Bev Dean.

Crowdfunding supporters -
Adam Boys, Jonathan Havenhand, Colin and Suzanne Doak, Richard Ellis, Drew Wegg and Maggie Kenny, Kate Harris and Cliffy Butler, Jan Howe, Gabrielle and Steve Fairgrieve, Mark Ginns, Joseph Zielinski, Suzanne Proctor, Henrik Widell

And everyone that contributed to our crowdfunding campaign, THANK YOU XXX

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Edgelarks: Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin UK

Edgelarks fly in on the tailwind of BBC award winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. The new band name comes with a new project, taking the roots of their previous work - British traditional musics, Indian classical slide guitar, stomping roots beatbox harmonica party; adds a strong stem of original writing; and runs wilder with each gig. Edgelarks will be launched Autumn 2017... ... more

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Track Name: Feather
Sometimes we don't know where a feather's from
Sometimes we don't know if our hope belongs
But sealed in its mystery lie days of sky-lit flight
The places that we go to in our dreams

The kite is a revenant returning to the wing
I cannot count the miles of his brave westering
But perhaps he flew much further than the last time that we met
And left his token here in the West

Feather in the dark, feather in the dark
Sometimes all you need to find
Lying in your hand, like hope in the morning

The woodpecker hides amongst the tallest trees
And the drilling of his drum is the most you'll likely see
But perhaps he took a chance in a strange moorland heat
To leave a glossy gift at my feet

The hoopoe is rare in our grey northern skies
But perhaps an adventurer left me a surprise
Riding on a blue moon from some sunny southern plain
To leave me a reminder of his name

I found a feather in the dark, I did not know its name
But for me it was a treasure I held on to just the same

A buzzard or a harrier, a cuckoo or a jay
A pheasant or a partridge, it does not matter either way
For sealed in its mystery beats hope's strong wing
Showing the way that we should fly in our dreams
Track Name: Where I Stand
Where I stand, I mark two lives, two sets of hands
In two tongues, a line for a father, a line for his son

A father who travelled far
A son born of this land
The wind rushes through their lives
And leaves them where I stand

For work he came, or for love, or for hunger, or for loss, or for gain
And his son made old worlds new, and made two worlds one

A modern tale, through our heavy-built borders they are moving still
Yet all the same, it's for 2000 thousand years I've remembered their names
Always the same, the only constant in life is change

For life is an old song, an old song that must be sung
Telling the old tune, of a father and his son
Track Name: Back From Hope
Wherever we hiked
And the hills in their glory sang their songs
Or we lay upon the silent mountain
When we found our rest in walking all the day
And our feet trod our story on the paths
Wherever we hiked

Wherever we hiked
I've seen the storms come in
The glimmer of a distant skyline
Been wet through to my skin
Been wind-drenched and sun-dried
And we would always come back from Hope

On Sundays, we'd take the Iron Way
Leave the city for the moorlands
And you'd show me how the spine of England rose
Just as the sun rambled in a Pennine sky
Wherever we hiked

Now you're gone, and it's a distance that I cannot cross
And the Peaks they give no answers
And I know that we were not the first or last
But we were walkers, we were dancers
And we hiked...
Track Name: Wanting Nothing
Somewhere, on some bright screen, someone I might have liked to be
But I am wanting nothing now, I am wanting nothing

A little patch of sunlight, a fire to warm the cold night

Shut the heaving world away, far from the motorway

Slate, dark blue, and cold, and clean; mud to sink my boots in

I've left the chasing, and the to-and-fro, built myself a different home

Yesterday is good and gone, tomorrow it might never come...
Track Name: What We Save From The Tide
What we save from the tide
We haul it up to the shore
We lay it out to dry
We look around for more

Worn smooth by weather
Glass and stone
Sea tossed treasure
Wood and bone

Sink or swim / We must go in / The water is calling

What we know of our dreams
We try to hold them close
So much harder than it seems
They slip away like ghosts

The fragments that we find
Wood and bone
Washed up on the tide
Sea and stone
Track Name: Oyster
Here's to the oyster, who spins beauty out of pain
Who takes the flaw within the shell, and brings forth a pearl to shine

Here's to the salmon, who must swim against the stream
Who learns to leap uncomfortable, and leap, and leap again

We keep walking in the rain
We keep holding out for hope
Scanning for the rainbow
We fail until we don't, we fail until we don't

Here's to the lark, who sings out of the night
Rising from the sullen earth, to bring in the new light

Yes, here's to the lark, who sings at break of day
Rising from the sullen earth, to fly the night away

Here's to the thing with feathers, that keeps us on the road
The very last thing in the box, that lightens up our load
Track Name: Time Away
Frost ungives the shrouded field, time away
Bird call echoes in the hill, time away, time away

Time away from toil and sorrow
The work will still be there tomorrow

Play the song we learnt together
Play to ward off cloudy weather

Light the fire and warm the pan
Hold this time tight in our hands

Pause the world all in its turning
Pause the world all frayed and burning
Track Name: Growing
Growing, growing
All these years my love has been

I drew my love a wedding band / I wore it on my left hand
Diamonds set all in white gold / To have and forever hold

This ring from my finger slipped / And round my heart a fear gripped
And though I searched the house around / Nowhere could my ring be found

Now 16 years have passed away / The house I tend, day on day
My garden trees do grow high / I'll reap my harvest by and by

The time has come to pull the crop / From the earth I draw it up
A carrot, strangely ringed around / For what is lost may still be found, for what is lost may still be found
Track Name: Wander
My father's father left the west when the war led him to roam
His children they forgot the tongue that had been their father's home
The shapes of words were broken, by the city's endless roar
And the lines of accent spoken told their stories no more

But it's not about your blood or the mud around your bones
But the toil of your hands and the seeds they have sown
The roots that you dig when you make your home
For feet were made to wander
I have a love for the land that I've known
For the trees and fields by the sea where I've grown
But I believe you should choose where you make your home
For feet were made to wander

Clearance and enclosure took our fathers from the land
They forgot their tongues, forgot the sun on their backs
They did not know their brothers, so how could they lend a hand?
They did not know themselves, so how could they make a stand?

The oak, and the ash, the bonny ivy, the bonny ivy tree,
They're growing green in my own country, my own country

Plants that know how to survive throw seeds to the wind
They put down roots in the place they thrive - that's where they belong
They make a wild garden, growing in the heart of town
Such beautiful, varied weeds, they're hard to trample down
Track Name: Spencer The Rover
This song was composed by Spencer the Rover
Who travelled through England and most parts all round
He'd been much reduced, which had caused great confusion
And that was the reason he'd started to roam

In Yorkshire, near Rotherham, he'd been on his rambles
Weary of travelling he sat down to rest
At the foot of yon mountain, there runs a clear fountain
With bread and cold water he himself did refresh

It tasted much sweeter than the gold he had wasted
Sweeter than honey, and it gave more content
But the thoughts of his children lamenting their father
Brought tears to his eyes, and it made him lament

With the night fast approaching, to the woods he resorted
With woodbine and ivy his bed for to make
He dreamt about crying, lamenting and dying
Go home to your family and rambling forsake

On the 5th of November, I've a reason to remember
When first he arrived home to his family and wife
They stood so surprised, when first he arrived
To see such a stranger once more in their lives

But then his children came round him with prittle-prattling stories
Prittle-prattling stories, to drive care away
Now they're all united like birds of one feather
Like bees in one hive contented they'll stay

And now they're all living in the cottage contented
With woodbine and children growing all around the door
They're as happy as those that's got thousands of riches
Contented he'll stay, and go rambling no more.
Track Name: The Longest Day
I saw the sun rise, toward the glory of another day
The sun broke his heart when he saw you, when the ledge of the world cut him off halfway
He strained his neck on the back of the sky
When the ocean reflected his head
And the last I saw him, he was saying goodbye, staining the heavens red

On May Day morning, we danced him in,
With a tune and a shout
But no sooner did he reign in the sky
Than the darkness was chasing him out

Cry for the light on a winter's night
Cry for the wind and sorrow
But dry your tears before the morn
For summer is coming tomorrow

Cry for the light on a winter's night
Cry for stormy weather
But the day is long and full of hope
And the circle turns forever
The circle turns forever

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