Elfin Bow’s music has been described as a fairy tale experience; pastoral psych-folk with an undercurrent of electronic ambience. With imagery that blends her twin passions of music and art, her songs and stage presence exude colour, charisma and a gentle charm. Her self-titled debut album was released in March with a live session on BBC Radio Wales and a spectacular sold-out launch in the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool. Elfin Bow has been described by Shindig Magazine as, ‘lyrically astute and melodically inventive,’ and by Fatea Magazine as ‘a rising star of the modern folk world,’ and ‘one to watch in 2017.’
If music is a journey of discovery to be savoured and enjoyed, then Elfin Bow is carving out her own exciting and unique path and loving every moment. With sounds reminiscent of Sandy Denny, Kate Bush and Pink Floyd, she loves to pen her own songs as well as collecting jewels from the musical history books to reinterpret in her own way, playing guitar, mandolin, violin and piano.
Elfin grew up in a strict Baptist family and was not allowed to listen to contemporary music. Early influences were 1970’s Sunday school songs and the family folk group, The Beukemas, singing three part harmonies with her sisters and improvising violin harmonies with the church band. With her classical training on the piano, it was the romantic Aria’s by Sterndale Bennet and the well-known themes of Mozart, Chopin and Tchaikovsky that gave her a grounding in subtle emotion and poignant melodies. Her musical horizons widened further as she discovered Tori Amos, Bjork and PJ Harvey, artists whose rebellious spirit touched a nerve and empowered Elfin Bow to develop her lyrics, individual song writing style and artistic direction.
At Art school, she developed a respect for the writings of Allan Kaprow and the ‘happenings’ of the 1960’s, where art began to imitate life. Boundaries were blurred between art, music and performance and Elfin began to use multi-disciplinary methods to express her ideas. More recently, it was the writings of Elle Luna, Brene Brown and Tara Mohr that helped to ‘free’ Elfin from the clutches of secondary teaching and to confidently launch her career as a professional artist and musician.
Energetic and driven, Elfin Bow has always embraced new ways to engage meaningfully with her fans and other artists, whether it is through the storytelling in her performances, song writing with primary schools, running folk clubs (The Cornmarket and Bow’s Folk) or the formation of musical initiatives such as the Dawn Chorus Collective (improvised music workshops for women and young people.) Elfin finds these relationships offer a constant source of ideas and inspiration that move her music forward. Elfin Bow founded Bow’s Folk Record Label, which works with a consortium of industry professionals and currently supports herself and Gary Edward Jones.
Since bravely leaping off the musical cliff, Elfin has encountered many serendipitous moments that has only added fuel to her belief that she made the right decision to follow her dreams and she is currently developing a psych-folk documentary for television and a folk musical with Cut to the Chase Productions. She has performed alongside BBC Folk Awards Nominee, Ange Hardy and Welsh Singer of the Year, Lowri Evans, and also supported Robin and Bina Williamson, the Sam Kelly Trio, Harp and a Monkey, James Findlay, Tom Kitching and Mississippi artist, Bronwynne Brent. She has performed live sets and interviews on many local, national and internet-based radio and TV stations including BBC Radio Merseyside, Wirral Radio, Bay TV (Made in Liverpool) and That’s Manchester TV. She has had regular airplay on Fab Radio International, Eden FM Radio, Blues and Roots Radio, Dublin City FM and BBC Radio Shropshire. She was selected to play the main stage at Folk on the Dock Festival, hosted by Janice Long and her song, The Wisdom, was selected for the 2017 Fatea Spring Showcase Session, ‘Thawing.’
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Elfin Bow completed her self-titled and self-produced debut album, which features fiddle by Tom Kitching and banjo by Jamie Francis. Also appearing are Oscar South on bass and digital performance technology, traditional Sakha vocalisations of nature sounds by Saydyko Fedorova, vocal harmonies and flute by her sister Victoria Wasley and Muireann McDermott Long and percussion by Daniel J. Logan. Her collection of twelve original songs were recorded at Hound Dog Studios, Liverpool, by Allan Crookes, mixed and mastered by Gary Lloyd and produced by herself and Gary Edward Jones. Elfin Bow released her album with a live session on BBC Radio Wales and has since has launched her album in both The Epstein Theatre, Liverpool and Theatr Clwyd, Mold; both distinctive events that included storytelling, art installations, public art workshops, dance a and multi media experience.
Elfin Bow’s album achieved number 5 on the Radio Caroline Album Countdown Chart.
Elfin Bow has been described as a ‘juggernaut’ of passion, energy and drive – an essential quality for any modern musician – and whilst her presence may be gentle, she isn’t launching her music on the world with anything other than a loud, and very artistic, roar.
‘She is forging her own path, in a world full of pale facsimiles and clones of established artists. It is a breath of fresh air. Make no mistake, this girl is a creative inspiration.’ Alan Rutherford, The Madhouse, Burton-on-Trent
‘An album that sets the mind thinking, the body moving and the spirit soaring. Elfin Bow is a rising star of the modern folk scene…She is clearly going to be one to watch’ – Fatea magazine