Agent Starling release their third full album ‘Clandestine’ on 18th November 2022.  ‘Clandestine’ is a celebration of ten instrumental hurdy-gurdy tunes, eight by contemporary international hurdy-gurdy players with two new arrangements of traditional tunes, all given the Agent Starling re-imagining by Lou and Quentin.

Available on all the usual digital platforms and as limited edition CD

Get the full album or CD from Bandcamp from 4th November 2022:

Many of the tunes featured on this album are drawn from musical friendships and Quentin’s year long quest travelling across Europe learning from master Hurdy-Gurdy players and folk musicians from different musical traditions. His travels took him to France, Spain, Crete, Germany, Holland and Preston, Lancashire. 

What to expect:

Agent Starling’s previous releases were internationally well received and the band made 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)

‘Sounding like the musical offspring of Sufjan Stevens and Steve Reich’ Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music

Agent Starling are Quentin Budworth hurdy-gurdy and vocals and Lou Duffy-Howard vocals, bass guitar and all other instruments and programming. The album also features special guest Dexter Duffy-Howard on violin, cello and harmonium. Recorded in Yorkshire UK by Agent Starling and mastered in Oregon by Kevin Carafa.

Clandestine album tracks:

  1. La Sansonette (3:40)
  2. Hellebore (3:30)
  3. Djursdalapolskan (3:56)
  4. Napoleon in Morocco (2:39)
  5. Mazurka dos Irmáns Moreira (2:14)
  6. La Funambule (4:49)
  7. Principessa (5:43)
  8. Konvulsionslåten (3:29)
  9. Blue Sauscisse/Biscuit Shuffle (3:51)
  10. Eye of Sea (3:50)

Composers: 1. Dominique Forges, 2. Toon van Mierlo, 3. Swedish Polska trad, 4. Nigel Eaton, 5. Inspired by Germán Diaz 6. Neil Brook, 7. Maurizio Martinotti, 8. Anders Norudde, 9. Cliff Stapleton, 10.  Matthias Loibner. All tracks arranged by Agent Starling

Agent Starling Discography

Clandestine album released November 18th 2022 DHM034

European Howl album released May 4th 2021 DHM028

Constellation of Birds album released February 25th 2022 DHM032

The Northern Lights EP released November 19th 2021 DHM031

Info and links

‘Clandestine’ by Agent Starling is released on Friday 18th November 2022 on the DHM record label, catalogue number DHM034. Available from all the usual digital platforms, full digital distribution by Label Worx and limited edition CD from Bandcamp and selected stores.

Available from Bandcamp:

Visit the Agent Starling website: 


Twitter: @AgentStarlingUK

Agent Starling Video Playlist:

Both 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.

The video single, Hellebore, from new album Clandestine

iTunes link:

Deezer link: