The release of The Eternal Rocks Beneath (Navigator Records) marks the arrival of a singular new talent on the contemporary roots music scene: Katherine Priddy. Due on June 25, the album is available for pre-order now.
Over the past three years, Priddy has quietly been building a growing following, captivating audiences around the UK with her haunting vocals, rich harmonies, distinctive finger picking guitar style and enchanting songs whose lyrics celebrate her life-long love affair with literature and poetry. She has been championed by BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music and her debut EP Wolf was chosen by Richard Thompson as his ‘Best Thing I’ve Heard All Year’ in MOJO Magazine in 2018.
With the buzz around her building, Priddy is making her mark in 2021 with the release of an eagerly-anticipated debut album, The Eternal Rocks Beneath, which is set to bring her to even wider notice. The ten self-penned tracks are delivered with a maturity and depth that belie the fact that this is her first full length release. At times tender, at times carrying a darker edge, the stories she weaves are transporting. Not surprising then that Nick Drake, John Martyn, Tunng and Scott Matthews are amongst her many influences.
The album was recorded over a 2-year period at Rebellious Jukebox studios, a little basement studio hidden beneath inner-city Birmingham and presided over by masterful producer Simon Weaver. The ensemble cast of musicians, including a sweeping string section, occasionally cut through by raw electric guitar and drums, as well as Richard March (Pop Will Eat Itself) on double bass and Mikey Kenny on fiddle, enhance Priddy’s command of melody and lyricism and provide the perfect backdrop for the feelings of nostalgia and timelessness that underpin the record.
Many of the songs were written during Priddy’s teenage years and early twenties and reference themes of childhood and distant memories. The charming bird song that begins the first track “Indigo” and closes the final track “The Summer Has Flown” harks back to the soundtrack to her own childhood, when days began and ended with the sound of a blackbird in the tree outside her window. In the same way, it now bookends this chapter of Priddy’s life and music career. The title The Eternal Rocks Beneath reflects this is Priddy’s first album; the culmination of her earlier life experiences and the bedrock for whatever follows next
Priddy first appeared in 2018 with the EP Wolf, which was enthusiastically supported by the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, BBC 6 Music’s Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson and was tipped by Richard Thompson. This was followed by a limited-edition vinyl single ‘Letters From a Travelling Man’ in 2019, accompanied by sold out shows in Birmingham, Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and Kenilworth and packed out rooms in Brighton, Bristol and London.
She has played well-earned spots at festivals, including Cambridge Folk Festival, where she won the coveted Christian Raphael Award; a prize given to one developing artist from the festival each year, Towersey Folk Festival, Shambala and Underneath the Stars. She’s supported Richard Thompson, The Chieftains, Martin Carthy, Vashti Bunyan, John Smith and Scott Matthews, amongst others.
Despite COVID-19 putting a stop to many of her plans in 2020, Priddy ensured her momentum continued with a series of well-attended live streams, appearances at prestigious online festivals including Philadelphia Folk Festival and an online Nick Drake collaboration that was featured on BBC Radio 2. She rounded-off the year with a seasonal track, ‘Still Winter, Still Waiting’, which received airplay on BBC Radio 2, from Radcliffe & Maconie on BBC 6 Music and Janice Long on BBC Radio Wales amongst several others. Priddy kicked off 2021 with the release of a Valentine’s Day single, ‘True Love Will Find You in the End’, a cover of cult musical hero Daniel Johnston, which received multiple plays from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq amongst others. Now, the release of her stunning debut album The Eternal Rocks Beneath is poised to cement the place of this determined young woman in the folk world and beyond.
Pre-order from: https://smarturl.it/katherinepriddy
‘Wolf’ – official video: