“Joyful, life-affirming and even a bit kick-ass feminist”
- The Blackbird Collective
“Excellent musicians, beautiful harmonies and a
fresh approach to traditional music”
- Tony Birch, FATEA Magazine
‘Suthering brings together a joyous blending of voices and musical talents of
Julu Irvine and Heg Brignall. Delicate, harmonious and thoroughly English,
Suthering is a welcome arrival on the vibrant English folk scene.’
- Terry O'Brien, Folk Expo
Suthering meaning "the sound of the wind through the trees or wind under a birds wing" combines the musical talents of Julu Irvine and Heg Brignall. A couple in life and in music, the duo have taken the folk scene by storm with their unusual and fresh approach to folk. Julu and Heg are true story-tellers who champion female characters, creating new narratives for women and unearthing the female heroines of folk.
What sets them apart is their wonderful chemistry and charisma on stage, natural humour and two beautifully matched voices. With an unusual mix of cascading, dramatic piano; intricate, fingerstyle guitar; flute, whistles and harmonium, Julu and Heg bring an exciting take on folk storytelling with their evocative and distinctive sound. Their arresting a cappella arrangements have been memorable favourites with audiences.
The duo moved from Bristol to Devon in 2019, just before the pandemic hit, in a bid to create a life more connected to community and nature. These themes can be found woven into their music and in their band name which was inspired by the Robert Macfarlane book Landmarks.
Their debut album If We Turn Away, which was recorded and co-produced by Lukas Drinkwater at Polyphonic Recording, was released on February 25th 2022. The album has received glowing press reviews and radio play across the country. Folk Wales described the album as having "hard hitting, beautiful songs".
The album which explores themes of community, connection, environment and conscience is very much a reflection of the times we are living in and has been influenced by the duo’s experiences during the pandemic. Each song is carefully crafted and arranged, telling tales of struggle and triumph against all odds; from both their own lives and from stories they have found. The album is a tonic for the divisive times we are living through. “We’re searching for light in this long, cold winter” sings the chorus of the first single Gather, which is an offering of strength and hope and is accompanied by a beautiful video filmed on Dartmoor.
What drew them together as songwriters was their shared love of collecting stories and turning them into songs; both have written about their grandparents and stories their family members have shared. Julu and Heg combine their powerful song-writing, weaving stories and crisp vocal harmonies to create a beautiful, pure sound.
The duo delight in bringing communities together; they run two community choirs (Wheelhouse Folk Choir and The Great Sea Choir) and also run their company Folk Singing Retreats which offers singing weekends for adults in Cornwall.
The duo will be touring venues and festivals the UK and Scotland throughout 2022, and they have recently returned from a residency with the new Songs of Separation ALL SING! project on the Isle of Lismore. On the island 10 choir leaders created four new a cappella versions of songs from the Radio 2 Folk Award winning album of the same name, to be released in 2023 as a resource for choirs.