“An outstanding debut”
Simon Mayo (BBC Radio 2)
“The British folk scene has produced a series of impressive dynasties, and this looks like the start of yet another”
“A vital bridge between Brit folk’s first and latest flowerings”
(**** Q Magazine)
Blair Dunlop’s achingly beautiful Blight & Blossom may be one of the most memorable and melodic debut albums of recent years, but what has really marked him out from his peers is his ability to craft deceptively simple songs that connect with everyone who claps ears on them on a deeply emotional level that belies his age. Still only 21, few people in the music world who had been paying attention were surprised when he scooped the prestigious Horizon Award at the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and although Blight & Blossom attracted a rapturous reception from the critics and received regular airings from a host of stations including BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music upon its release in August 2012, Dunlop took it all in his stride and set off on his travels, playing everywhere from major festivals to intimate front rooms…wherever and whenever he found an audience willing to listen.
Although you could argue that Blair Dunlop plays folk – a musical form that invariably and unfairly affords its brightest stars more time in the shadows than the spotlight – his ineffably moving songs somehow defy categorisation. To date, Blight & Blossom has managed to find its way into the homes and hearts of almost 10 000 fans. Whilst making absolutely no attempt to disregard his folk heritage and DNA, Blair Dunlop is very much a young man who lives in the present, not the past. His music has a classic sound and a palpable purity running through it like a stick of Blackpool rock, yet he ‘Tweets’ (though he doesn’t ‘Twerk’) and is as likely to be found listening to obscure Italian House music as he is to the eclectic range of songwriters who helped shape his mellifluous music, from Anaïs Mitchell to Nic Jones, Jackson Browne and the legendary Richard Thompson, who was so impressed with Dunlop that he gave him a previously unrecorded song – Seven Brothers – for inclusion on his debut.
He is about to return to the studio to begin work on his much-anticipated second long-player (due for release in the Spring of 2014) before setting off on his first tour of Australia, a trip he has been dreaming of ever since he first picked up a guitar: “Although I’d like to sound like I am much cooler than this, if I am being totally honest, I still can’t quite believe the way people have been reacting to my music over the last couple of years,” Dunlop explains with breathless enthusiasm. “I know this may sound like a bit of a cliché, but Australia has always almost seemed like a mythical place to me, so I am still pinching myself every time I think about the fact that I am being given the chance to play my songs for people all over the country. In a way, it all seems a bit unreal at the moment, but I know that it will be one of the most memorable experiences of my life.”
Agent: Polly Bolton
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