Burd Ellen

Burd Ellen is a project featuring Debbie Armour (Alasdair Roberts, Green Ribbons) and Gayle Brogan (Pefkin, Electroscope). The group uses traditional song to explore and evoke dark landscapes and deep stories. Innovative instrumentation, drone and sound-wash support detailed vocal work to create a unique sonic atmosphere.

They self-released their debut album silver came in Feb 2019, on limited edition CD. A record exploring women’s narratives in British folk song, silver came investigates ideas of persistence, defiance, devotion and transformation.

Their second album, Says the Never Beyond, is a collection of carols and wintersong that occupy the liminal space between sacred and secular, connecting to the deep seasonal traditions of Britain and Ireland. They have continued their long-term collaboration with Jer Reid (Sumshapes, Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), bringing him out from behind the studio desk to play guitar on most of the tracks. The album also features contributions from Scottish Album of the Year Award nominee Rachel Newton (The Shee, The Furrow Collective) and Luke Sutherland’s (Long Fin Killie, Bows) current project Rev Magnetic. The record was critically very well received, finding it’s spot in the top 10 of 2020 for many publications including The Guardian and Folk Radio UK.

Burd Ellen are carving out a sonically adventurous niche, but one that is informed by a deep love and respect for traditional song.

Burd Ellen were proud to be supported by the Nest Collective’s AMPLIFY initiative in 2019

“dripping with strangeness and unease” – 5*, The Guardian (Top 10 Folk Albums 2020)

“a thrilling and utterly hypnotic ride” – Folk Radio UK (Top 10 Albums of 2020)

“the idea of Burd Ellen is to discover new ways to explore the British folk tradition and this record certainly accomplishes that … haunting” – The Wire Magazine

“a kind of front-room, palm-sized form of Penederecki, Branca, or early Swans” – Rock and Roll Globe (Best Artists of 2020)


Mother, Go and Make My Bed
Wexford Carol
Sans Day Carol
Chi Mi Bhuam
The High Priestess And The Hierophant
Please To See The King Go
Griogal Cridhe
Sealing & Pivoting
Morning Come, Maria’s Gone