Traditional Irish folk musician Valerie Armstrong has just released "Blackwaterside" the new single from her forthcoming album "False Bride". The harpist and singer has collaborated on the track with Ken McHugh (Automata/Cathy Davey) creating a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Irish ballad which mixes harp and voice with electronic percussion. Armstrong, a former backing singer for Mary Coughlan, came to prominence last year after being sampled by Grammy Award-winning artist James Blake.
Armstong’s collaboration with McHugh has allowed her to innovate upon the classic harp sound, creating a track that is all at once grounded in tradition yet modern and cinematic in feel. "Blackwaterside" takes the form of the traditional Irish folk song with a melody reminiscent of "She Moved Through the Fair" and overlays it with electronic percussion to create a contemporary ambient sound evocative of Irish folklore, landscape and history.
Commenting on the new release Armstrong remarked: “It has been a joy to be back in the studio, collaborating with Ken has provided me with an arsenal of new tools to expand on the genre of the traditional Irish ballad, it's a big sound, but it is grounded in Irish romantic tradition. We will be announcing a Live performance in the coming weeks, which will take place online due to current restrictions.”
Armstrong made music industry headlines last year when she was sampled by James Blake on the track “Barefoot in the Park” on his album “Assume Form”. Blake became a fan of Armstrong’s music after discovering her early recordings on youtube. The Grammy Award-winning artist took to his twitter account to describe Armstong’s work as “beautiful”.
"Blackwaterside" by Valerie Armstrong is available now on all streaming platforms. Her new album "False Bride" will be released in January 2021.