Beth Porter

Sunday 18th August 2024

A master collaborator, songwriter, cellist and artist in her own right, Beth Porter has found many avenues for her talent.

She will be releasing a new EP this year after working with producers Niko O’Brien and Jakes from Upcycled Records in London. Her dark, quirky, ethereal Chamber-Pop songs meet Electronica to create a unique sound all carried by Beth’s pure and unaffected vocal. She is also about to release a music video created by Marry Waterson with one of Beth’s old songs remixed by Niko and Jakes.

Beth has been likened to Cat Power, The Beatles, REM, This Is The Kit, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Radiohead, Sandy Denny, The Incredible String Band and The Kinks. With a classical background, a venture into folk music, and a love of simple pop songs, there’s nothing quite like Beth’s songwriting. It’s quintessentially English yet understated and original.

Picked for her songwriting and cello playing, she is one part of Spell Songs (a project inspired by the book The Lost Words by Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane) with legends of folk including Karine Polwart, Kris Drever and Julie Fowlis. They were one of Songlines Magazine Best Album of the Year 2019 and was part of a BBC Prom at The Royal Albert Hall where Beth sang a solo with the Southbank Sinfonia. Beth played with Eliza Carthy for over ten years and has previously played with Bellowhead, Jim Moray and The Unthanks as well as many other folk artists.

She is one half of literary duo The Bookshop Band who spend much of their time writing songs inspired by books and playing them in bookshops and literary festivals. They have won a British Animation Award for Best Musical Score and were nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for the Aardman Animations Christmas Special, Robin Robin, available on Netflix. The film was also nominated for an Oscar. They are currently working on an album with Pete Townshend of The Who.

In the pop world she has toured with Newton Faulkner, The Heavy, and Peter Gabriel and has worked with hundreds of producers and engineers such as John Parish, Boo Herwerdine, Tchad Blake and Stuart Bruce for recording sessions over the last 20 years. Studios include Real World, Rockfield, Yellow Arch, Castlesound, Moles and Invada. She also does remote sessions from her home in Scotland.

She plays with string quartet Red Carousel who write their own compositions and have a new album in the pipeline which they wrote over Lockdown.

Beth has also been collaborating with Lucy Farrell and Jenny Sturgeon after some creative sessions together over Zoom in Lockdown.

Other film credits include Far From The Madding Crowd (2015) and BAFTA winning animation The Eagleman Stag (2010)

Beth has recently had a role as Musical Director for a play about the Upper Clyde Shipbuilding industry in the 1970s called Yes! Yes! U.C.S! (Townsend Productions) touring in 2022. She was also part of Stewart Macpherson’s Solway to Svalbard which premiered in Dumfries in October 2022

Beth started writing songs after having collaborated instrumentally with many songwriters. She gained confidence with her voice after having lessons with Yola Carter who then took Beth on as a band member. She has had more recent vocal development with Blythe Pepino (Mesadorm)

The first band that she fronted was Beth Porter and the Availables which morphed into Marshes in 2019 as a new record came out. Produced by talented guitarist and composer, Luke Cawrthra, When The Lights Are Bright features vocals, cello, piano, strings, brass, wind, ukuleles, bass and some great drums and percussion. She worked with pianist, composer and long time collaborator Jools Scott on some of the arrangements and the result is a unique collection of powerful songs.

Beth is using her own name to head the next project but it’s all part of the same journey.

She has supported Karine Polwart, Lau and Sam Kelly among other artists.

Beth Porter image. Beth is wearing a black and white top, she is stood in front of a forest with her black cello in her hand.