Q - April 2015

Seventh time around for Derbyshire folk singer with a twist.

Flush from winning BBC Radio 2's Folk Singer Of The Year in 2014, Edale-born Bella Hardy's latest finds her casting the net wider.  With The Dawn is based on a year in the singer/composer's life.  These are songs about early-morning journeys, late-night drinking and loneliness; you'll be hard pushed to find another song as direct or mournful as Oh! My God! I Miss You.  Hardy's crystalline voice dominates but on Gifts and the nearly-a-pop song The Only Thing To Do it's joined by brass instruments, an on Another Whisky Song some lovely off piste rhythms.  Is all works brilliantly.  Ultimately, what Hardy has done here is make a folk album for people who don't normally like folk music.  In doing so, it's both a credit to her and the genre.

Mark Blake