Karine Polwart – This Earthly Spell
This Scottish philosopher come talented folk artist first caught my attention back in March 2008, she was featured on the now sadly discontinued HMV Choice magazine (March 08 issue).
Having earned a Masters in Philosophical Enquiry at Glasgow Karine Polwart’s writing certainly covers many of life’s great topics, with a beautiful poetic intelligence her lyrics often delve into worldly arguments and dark matters, ranging from the physical, the emotional, questions of the heart and those of the metaphysical.
Karine has been around since the late 90s Folk boom, with a background in music she first followed an academic path in philosophy, with her first solo album release Faultlines in 2003. My first album purchase was of This Earthly Spell – Karine’s follow up album to Scribbled In Chalk. The album is a beautifully delicate mixture of traditional songs featuring a simple collaboration of only 2 to 3 musicians, keeping the sound folky and crisp. Her elegant vocals, those expressive Scottish inflections and her country jazz flavours produce wonderfully elegant songs that carry the thought provoking lyrics straight to the soul.
What is unique to Karine’s song writing is her method of combining dark, often depressing themes, with an angelic uplifting voice, she constantly weaves opposites together in her material. Her writing plays with contradiction to produce beautifully lyrical metaphor and oxymoron. The end result is a humbling journey of hope and morality in the face of conflict and trail. After her academic studies she became a philosophy tutor, and in a way her lessons continue today through her music.
Useful Related Links:
Malinky – Scotlands Finest Folksong Group (Karine Polwart joined the group as lead singer between 1998 and 2005)