Emily Portman is a singer, writer and concertina player hailed as ‘one of the new British folk scene’s most beguiling presences’ (Uncut).
Emily is the 2013 holder of the BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Original Song; an accolade which reflects her power to conjure darkly surreal netherworlds where folklore and myth collide with urban landscapes. Emily was nominated for 'Best Singer' in the 2016 folk awards and is also part of The Furrow Collective, who were awarded 'Best Band' in the 2017 BBC folk awards.
Her latest album Coracle received high accolades: described as 'a marvellous, original work' by the Observer, Coracle has placed Emily on the fROOTs magazine cover (July issue) for the second time and received airplay by Jarvis Cocker on 6 Music, with repeated play across the BBC and a live session for Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2 . Emily toured Coracle with her specially formed 6 piece Coracle Band, who played festivals including Rio Loco (France) and Rudolstadt (Germany) in the summer of 2016.
With her debut fairytale-inspired album ‘The Glamoury’ and lullaby themed 'Hatchling' also gaining her critical acclaim and BBC Folk Award nominations, Emily is fast becoming a luminary of the UK folk scene, sharing stages with folk legends including Martin Simpson and Waterson:Carthy. She has received widespread international radio-play, performed live sessions for BBC Radio 2 and 6, reached mojo’s top ten album lists and tours extensively.
The Emily Portman Trio, with talented musiciansLucy Farrell (voice,viola and saw) and Rachel Newton (voice, harp and fiddle) have become known for their “inventive arrangements using twinkling harp, brooding strings and chiming vocal parts” (Observer). Lucy and Rachel are highly sought-after soloists in their own right and together they have beguiled audiences throughout Europe. The Emily Portman Trio count prestigious venues including London’s Barbican and The Queen Elizabeth Hall among their stamping grounds, not to mention a string of renowned Festivals from Cambridge to Celtic Connections. Emily also performs solo and has a new collaboration with Rob Harbon in store for 2018.
Emily is part of the collaborative traditional song band The Furrow Collective who currently tour the UK and Europe. Their debut album At Our Next Meeting was released to overwhelming critical acclaim and described by Mojo as ‘a mouthwatering collaboration’. The Furrow Collective, which features Alasdair Roberts, Rachel Newton and Lucy Farrell, were invited to do a live session for Radio 2 and made their London debut at Outlandish Knights, a mini-festival at Kings Place, co-curated by Emily and Alasdair. Since then The Furrow Collective have released an acclaimed 6-track EP 'Blow Out the Moon' (2015) and, after a string of BBC Folk Award Nominations, their latest album 'Wild Hog' led to their 2017 BBC folk award win.
As well as being a performer, Emily has presented BBC Radio Merseyside’s folk show ‘Folkscene’, written articles for the acclaimed roots and world music magazine fROOTS and has given talks on Ballad Studies at Cecil Sharp House, London and The International Ballad Conference.