Polly Paulusma

Polly Paulusma's songwriting ability has seen her work alongside some of the biggest names in folk. Now she is embarking on something altogether more academic...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 4 Aug 2014
  • min read
There are a surprising number of strings to the bow of singer songwriter Polly Paulusma.

Not only has she mastered the art of creating timeless folk music, she is also delving deep into its heritage to uncover the impact of the movement on modern culture.

For her work, Polly will use the archives at Cecil Sharp House to find the songs which influenced novelist Angela Carter’s writing and then learn to play them with other musicians.

The post-graduate research project will form part of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) Creative Artist Residency series.

And, from the rehearsals with folk musicians Maz O’Connor and Jack Harris and indie folk bass player John Parker, the residency will allow her to create a mixed media project involving spoken word excerpts of feminist prose presented side-by-side with the traditional folk songs that inspired them.

No stranger to the world of folk, Polly first came to prominence a decade ago, when she was snapped up by indie label One Little Indian on the strength of her curious traditional English songwriting.

She then toured the world supporting the likes of Bob Dylan, Marianne Faithfull, Jamie Cullum and Coldplay.

Polly has since founded record label Wild Sound, bought a touring caravan called Ella, collaborated with folk stalwarts Adem and Erin McKeown and worked alongside acclaimed film composer Michael Price.

Her latest album, The Small Fest of my Reverie, is out now. She will play the Purbeck Folk Festival in Swanage on 21 August.