See the lyric video for Polly Paulusma’s ‘Jack Munro’ – an album of songs that influenced Angela Carter’s on the way


Polly Paulusma, photographed by Annie Dressner

YOU WANT intelligent folk songcraft? Look no further than Polly Paulusma.

Fresh from teaching English to undergraduates at Cambridge, and having recently been awarded a PhD, English folkie Polly Paulusma is set to returned with an album of songs which inspired Angela Carter’s dark retakes on the traditional folk tale paradigms, to be entitled Invisible Music.

That album’s out on April 23rd; and as a come-hither to a literary-cum-musical journey, taking in songs in the trad.arr. field gracefully recrafted, she’s just dropped the animated lyric video for “Jack Munro”. You can watch that below.

It’s a beautifully bell-clear folk reading of a tale of a girl escaping into the army to evade an overweening father who would spurn her in her love affairs – and whose mettle sees her win the day.

The album also features readings interspersed with the songs, with contributions from Kathryn Williams and Scottish author Kirsty Logan; and sheds a new and faithful light on a collection of tunes concerned with loss, love, incest, abduction, war and death. 

Having discovered that Angela Carter either sang or knew these songs, reframing these ballads became important to Polly, who investigates the stories that ring down the centuries and brings us the heroines the author of The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories was influenced by, restoring historical narratives of female agency. 

This album presents in sound Paulusma’s theories about the complex inter-relationships between music and literature.

Her next and ninth album, The Pivot On Which Everything Turns, is already in the can and set for release in 2022.

Polly Paulusma’s Invisible Music will be released by Wild Sound/One Little Independent digitally and on CD on April 23rd; you can pre-order your copy over at her Bandcamp page now.

Follow Polly at her website and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify.

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