Emily and Hazel Askew have become known as two of the foremost performers and interpreters of English folk music.
Their live performances brim with the depth and connection not only of two sisters, but also of two musicians who have been immersed in folk music all their lives. Together, they rework and reinterpret songs and balladry, creating breath-taking arrangements, which allow words that are hundreds of years old resonate profoundly with contemporary audiences.
Alongside this, both women are also skilled multi-instrumentalists and expert players of dance music, using fiddles, melodeons, concertina and cello in their innate drive to bring old dance music to life.
In 2014, their third album In the Air or the Earth, was released by RootBeat Records to widespread critical acclaim, including the Spiral Earth Award for Best Traditional Album 2015. Since then, the two women have been busy working on a number of other innovative projects; Emily has been touring with her vibrant fiddle band Alma, as well as releasing her first solo album, which explored the cross-over between folk and early music and was highly critically acclaimed by the national press; Hazel has been busy working with her groundbreaking trio Lady Maisery, as well as folk super groups Coven and Songs of Separation, the latter of which won Best Album at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Stirred by these new musical experiences, the sisters now return to their duo with a fresh vision. They spent 2018 deep in rehearsal, reconstructing and re-exploring their sound, unearthing old songs, as well as composing and creating new music. The culmination of this is their long awaited fourth studio album, Enclosure, to be released in May 2019.
Praise for ‘In the Air or the Earth’ (2014)
“A definitive album of the current English Folk scene” - Spiral Earth
"Inspired arrangements of traditional music, striking versions of tricky ballads – this is traditional folk in a fine, fresh form” - The Telegraph
"An album of singular and iconic beauty” - FolkWords
"Vocals shimmering above fiddles, viola, melodeons and concertina, [this album] casts its spell.” - The Sunday Times
"The edgy alchemy of melodeon and fiddle makes for a vivid and revitalising sound throughout… one of the most atmospheric and erudite albums you’ll hear this year” - EDS