Since the release of the critically acclaimed ‘With The Dawn’ two year ago (“…nothing short of a masterpiece” - The Sunday Times), Bella Hardy has spent a winter in China as British Council Musician in Residence, extensive time in Nashville co-writing and observing from coffee shop windows, and opened tours for Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter. Bella, her fiddles and her notebooks, have once again been traveling, thinking, flying, driving, training, reading and gazing. She pulled together a trusty band of musical companions as she went, and in January 2017, called them into Chem19 Studios in Glasgow to make an record of her new creations under the expert leadership of producer Paul Savage (The Delgados).
Starring Thomas Gibbs (keys), Iain Thomson (guitars), John Blease (drums) and James Lindsay (bass), Bella’s five piece band tracked the new songs live, and her new album was born. It includes tracks such as ‘You Don’t Owe The World Pretty’ dedicated to daughters of all ages, ‘Stars’ based on an ancient poem from the Chinese Shijing, and ‘Learning To Let Go’ written underneath a magnolia tree in Berkeley California.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Singer of the Year 2014, Bella grew up in Edale in England’s Peak District. Although the Hardy family sang in the local choir, it was a combination of her childhood love for ballad books and visits to local folk festivals that decided her future. At 13 she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals and in 2004 reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award, having taught herself to fiddle sing. Following a BA in English Literature and a Masters degree in Music, Bella released her debut album Night Visiting in 2007. One of its songs, Three Black Feathers was nominated for a BBC Folk Award. It was her first original composition.
Since then Bella has continued to record and perform at a tremendous rate; appearing on numerous BBC radio and TV programmes, singing solo in a sold-out Albert Hall at the Proms, composing the music for a Radio 4 documentary on the Post Office, writing with former Beautiful South founder David Rotheray, forming an all-female fiddle group with folk royalty Eliza Carthy, and winning yet another Radio 2 Folk Award for her original song The Herring Girl (2012).