Bella Hardy - Battleplan
Winner: Best Singer BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 Bella Hardy's new studio album battleplan, the brooding follow-up to the award winning Songs Lost & Stolen. On battleplan, traditional ballads are re-imagined from a female perspective, and personal experiences are reflected against fairy tales and folklore. Allowing the old and the new to mingle more than on previous albums, Bella has chosen to record some of her favourite traditional songs; songs which would be familiar to many had they not undergone a fair amount of repurposing, amalgamating and, in some cases, entire tune transplants – as is essential to the folk process. In Hardy's hands, songs some hundreds of years old could've been written yesterday, while those from her own pen have the echoes of history behind them. Of her own songs, Bella says: "I've always snuck bits of my own life into songs - that's just the way I write. But in the past I've altered it enough so it's no longer about me. I don't feel the need to turn songwriting into my therapy, although I enjoy it in others. But on this album I've been more honest, which I don't regret." Produced by Mattie Foulds (responsible for recordings by Karine Polwart, Alasdair Roberts, Lau and many more), Bella is backed on battleplan by her band The Midnight Watch, featuring the top drawer talents of Mattie himself on drums, Anna Massie on guitar & banjo, Angus Lyon on keys & accordion, and James Lindsay on bass.