IONA LANE – WEDNESDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2023 – Woodborough Institute Hall – 8PM





‘Hallival’ is the long awaited debut album from Leeds-based folk singer and songwriter Iona Lane. Having found herself fascinated by folklore and folk stories from across the UK ‘Hallival’ is inspired by natural landscapes, scientific discoveries, equality, human relationships and the supernatural, all tied together by a strong sense of place and a love for being in wild places – creating something truly special.

The name ‘Hallival’ is taken after one of the mountains on the Isle of Rum, which inspired the writing for the opening track ‘Western Tidal Swell’. Karine Polwart and Julie Fowlis, amongst others, selected ‘Western Tidal Swell’ to win Feis Rois’/NatureScots’ In Tune With Nature competition in 2020.

The lead single from the album ‘Humankind’, featuring Jenny Sturgeon on backing vocals, was written from the depths of the Lake District in Wasdale just before the first lockdown. Being the closing track on the album, it reflects on how important humans are to each other and the kindness that we can bring particularly whilst feeling isolated, a feeling that we all know too well after the past couple of years.

Stemmed from being read ‘Stone Girl Bone Girl, The Life of Mary Anning’ by Laurence Ann Holt as a child, Iona’s song ‘Mary Anning’ focuses on the life of the groundbreaking paleontologist who lived and worked in Lyme Regis in the 1800s. Mary made vast contributions to the scientific world, however, due to her being a woman she was unable to present her findings and would often end up selling them to her male colleagues. Up until very recently Mary Anning has had little credit for her work.

Having studied under the tuition of Nancy Kerr, Jim Moray and Stuart McCallum, Iona has been praised throughout the scene for her delicate yet powerful vocals, which have captivated audiences up and down the country.

Iona was chosen by Karine Polwart to receive the Taran Guitars Young Players Bursary 2020. Since receiving the bursary luthier Rory Dowling, of Taran Guitars, has designed and built a bespoke instrument for Iona’s musIC.

“An intriguing debut – her sweet voice recalls Emilíana Torrini, while her lyrics and musical arrangements crackle with wide-eyed curiosity.” – Jude Rogers, The Guardian (2022)

“Hallival is a masterful debut. It’s also a poetic gift, one to lose yourself in that will continue to reward you with each listen. I can already see that this is going to be one of my album highlights of 2022” – Alex Gallacher, Folk Radio UK (2022)

“Spellbinding” – Jericho Keys, BBC Introducing (2022)

See Iona here: Shiehallion


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