NEWSFLASH! Our brand new Agent Starling album ‘Constellation of Birds’ is released on 25th February, but extra good news, tomorrow – Friday 4th Feb – Bandcamp waive their fees. You can pre-order the album, getting the two single releases straight away. Hope you enjoy it, here’s the link: https://loudhaileruk.bandcamp.com/…/constellation-of-birds
“…an album that both respects and goes far beyond the traditions of Hurdy-Gurdy and European Folk, embracing genres and creating lovely textures. You will not hear another album like this in 2022.” Neil March Trust The Doc
Our second album ‘Constellation of Birds’ is released on February 25th 2022, following our debut album European Howl and winter EP The Northern Lights Trilogy, both released in 2021.
The album features seven new original songs telling stories inspired by the environment in the contemporary world and influenced by musical traditions from nations across Europe, together with Agent Starling’s arrangements of two traditional tunes, O’Carolan’s Irish waltz Bridget Cruise and Swedish polska Hälleforsnäsar.
Agent Starling’s original songs span a joyful celebration of the summer solstice, Midsommer, to the song of an alien stranded on Earth during the pandemic – Leave No Trace. Paqaratz is an observation of the band’s dissent with the British government. Shadowland depicts a mysterious chance meeting by the dark sea, while dance track Princess Julia tells a fairy tale of a royal pretender and her secret. Valley to Mountainside, with its compound time signature changes and layered overlapping harmonies extols the beauty of nature, and in the album’s closing spoken word track – The Stonemason’s Dream – Agent Starling call for cathedral-thinking in the modern world to preserve it.
Watch the video for single Princess Julia
Quentin and Lou both have strong musical provenance. Lou was originally in recently reformed prophetic UK Indie band Red Guitars and has gigged and recorded ever since, currently heading up psychedelic rock band Loudhailer Electric Company. Originally part of Suns of Arqa, hurdy-gurdy specialist Quentin is the force behind world fusion medieval rave band Celtarabia. Agent Starling are preparing to tour in 2023.
Debut album European Howl was internationally well received, making number one in the EthnoCloud Mediterranean music chart 2021.
“Experimental hurdy-gurdy on duo’s impressive debut. European Howl is a complex, immersive and at times disorienting listening experience.” (SONGLINES July 2021)
“I doubt very much that you will hear anything quite like this anywhere else in current music… Truly wondrous.” (Review of Northern Lights by Neil March in Trust the Doc Issue 62 December 2022)
“In all the years since this podcast started I don’t think we’ve ever knowingly featured a hurdy-gurdy – but there’s a first time for everything thanks to Agent Starling.” (Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music)
We are Quentin Budworth hurdy-gurdy and Louise Duffy-Howard aka Lou Loudhailer voices & other instruments, also featuring special guest Dexter Duffy-Howard on violin and cello. Recorded in Yorkshire UK by Agent Starling, the album was mastered in Oregon by Kevin Carafa. All songs written and composed by Lou and Quentin with lyrics by Lou, except Hälleforsnäsar and O’Carolan’s Bridget Cruise trad arr. Agent Starling.
‘Constellation of Birds’ by Agent Starling is released on Friday 25th February 2022 on the DHM record label, catalogue number DHM032. Digital distribution by Label Worx and limited edition CD from selected stores.
Available from Bandcamp: https://loudhaileruk.bandcamp.com/album/constellation-of-birds
Agent Starling Video Playlist https://tinyurl.com/yvmr2r3v