I’ve been a fan of Ellen and the Escapades for a couple of years now, having first seen them perform on the main stage at 2000 Trees festival in 2010. Formed in 2008, this Leeds-based nu-folk quintet have been seeing some much deserved recognition since the release of their debut album ‘All The Crooked Scenes’ in April of this year, with radio play from the likes of Steve Lamacq, Chris Hawkins and Radio 2’s ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris.*
Fronted by the dusky-voiced and dainty Ellen Smith, Ellen and the Escapades make a particularly soothing brand of contemporary folk music, with soft chords and bittersweet harmonies off-setting lyrics emotive enough to melt even the hardest of hearts. Besides the eponymous Ellen, the band comprises of Chris Quick, Jeff Schneider, James Warrender and Gary Stewart, who all work seamlessly together to create the exquisite melodies that soar grandly alongside Ellen’s delicate northern vocal.
The band’s big break came in 2010, when despite having no semblance of a record deal, they won Glastonbury’s emerging talent competition and landed themselves a spot on one of the festival’s main stages. Unsurprisingly, the labels fought like tigers to sign them after the Glasto win, and the band have gone on to release their debut with Branch Our Records as well as to support such names as Josh T Pearson and First Aid Kit on tour.
You can find out more Ellen and the Escapades via their website. If you would like to listen to more of their beautiful music, visit their Soundcloud page. Their latest single, the stunning ‘Without You’, is available for physical and electronic purchase now, and if you would like to see them live, they will be supporting the Travelling Band on tour early next year.
*Incidentally, the album art work for this record was created by Twoducksdisco, who I wrote about in one of my earlier posts. read about him here.