Some nice reviews for Friends and Enemies; Lovers and Strangers have been coming in:

Folk Radio UK: ‘a highly original collection of compositions which can be enjoyed as a folk album like any other, but which repays a much closer listening to reveal a depth of understanding of its sources which shines a light on a classic text too often overlooked’

The Active Listener: ‘As otherworldly as the folk tales that inspired the music, this is an album that demands complete, rapt attention and careful listening … I cannot recommend this album highly enough.’

Terrascope Online: ‘Whilst the album features an array of instruments that add depth and texture to the songs, at its heart lies the unique and beautiful voice and songwriting of Sharron Kraus, this collection being, quite possibly, her finest to date, each song shining like sunlight on a distant mountain top, timeless and captivating.’

fRoots (May 2015): ‘a beautifully recorded and immensely atmospheric record, full of alternative tunings, dark modes and devils’ intervals.’

Bright Young Folk: ‘Friends and Enemies; Lovers and Strangers is an album that gives up its secrets slowly. It takes a few listens to get to grips with these deceptively simple songs, but the time and effort involved is more than worth it. An album to live with and to savour.’

BLISS Aquamarine: ‘The songwriting is contemporary, and whilst the harp, recorder and dulcimer arrangements are evocative of the medieval era when the tales from the Mabinogion were written down, the overall feel is not one of aping the past, but of using the past as a starting point for creative innovation.’

Daily Information: ‘What a magnificent album! Sharron Kraus’ latest album is influenced by her long stay in rural mid-Wales and is a retelling, in English, of some stories in the Mabinogion, a collection of stories written in Medieval Welsh. But far from being set in the past, these stories of love, betrayal, migrations and magic continue to resonate today.’

Norman Records: 7/10 ‘Friends and Enemies; Lovers and Strangers has a particular strand of folk DNA in it, a type that sounds ancient and conceives of a time long gone. Kraus’ interpretation, though, is fresh and crystalline, both recorded and performed as if these were wholly new stories.’

Sly Vinyl

Atalho de Sons (in Portugese)

Music Won’t Save You (in Italian)

My new album, Friends and Enemies; Lovers and Strangers, is now available for pre-order from Clay Pipe Music. It’s a beautifully illustrated limited edition 12″ LP with artwork by Frances Castle.

Frances has also made a beautiful animated video for ‘Stranger In Your Land’ from the album.

If vinyl’s not your thing, the album’s also available as a digital download from my Bandcamp site.

The release date for my album is May 18th, with pre-orders available from April 13th. I should have copies of the album to sell at gigs from mid-April onwards.

In the meantime, here’s a video I made for ‘Blodeuwedd’:


These beauties just arrived in the post:
shot_1424257593210You can order it as a double album or digital download from Burst & Bloom Records, or pick up a copy from me at a gig.

I’m playing a handful of winter concerts with Harriet Earis again this year in Wales and the borders. Come and see us if we’re playing near you.

The cd of winter songs, carols and tunes we recorded last year is still available on Bandcamp.

Through the Static and Distance: The Songs of Jason Molina, an album paying tribute to Jason Molina, will be out on vinyl on Burst and Bloom Records in January and is available for preorder now. This double album features tracks by Thalia Zedek, Marissa Nadler, Tigersaw and others.


My album of songs inspired by the Mabinogi is due for vinyl release on Claypipe Music early in the New Year. Stay tuned for updates!

Gillian is flying in from the US on thursday and we’ll finish mixing the new Rusalnaia album together. Then she and I will play a couple of Rusalnaia shows – one in Nottingham and one in Sheffield – the first we’ve done in at least 2 years.

The new album is more electric than our first album, and the live shows will feature Gill alternating between dulcimer and electric guitar. We’re excited about playing these songs live as well as revisiting some of the songs on our first album. It’ll be great to spend time together again and take her to some of my favourite new haunts: last time she visited I was still living in the wilds of Wales and we wandered desolate hillsides by moonlight and visited ruined castles. This time it’ll be a tour of the local Sheffield cafes and pubs, with excursions into the Peaks – I can’t wait!


I’ve received copies of two new albums I played on this week, both of which remind me of the important role good record labels play in music making.

When my first album, ‘Beautiful Twisted’, got picked up by Camera Obscura Records in 2001, Tony Dale at the label put me in touch with another band he worked with – The Iditarod. He knew I was interested in playing shows in the US and thought that Jeffrey, Carin and co. would be good people to connect with. Jeffrey promptly organised a tour of the American northeast and Canada for us to do together and this tour was a life-changing experience for me, giving me the bug for touring and collaborating. Whilst on tour, and in the week we spent together afterwards, a number of recordings were made. Some of those became a collaborative album ‘Yuletide’. Others that I’d forgotten about are collected on ‘Foxfur and Rarebits‘ – the vinyl collection of Iditarod rarities I received from Morc Records this week.


As well as this blast from the past, I received the Silver Servants album, which is out on Second Language, the label that released my most recent album. When I started working with Second Language I was invited to join the extended Silver Servants lineup and spent an enjoyable day recording together with Glen, David, Ollie and co. It felt nice to be part of a record label ‘family’ again.


Financially it may make less and less sense for musicians to work with record labels these days. Being part of a community in the way that happens when you work with a label that loves your music is something I treasure, though.

I’m very excited to be speaking at A Fiend in the Furrows at Queen’s University Belfast next month. The programme looks excellent, including papers on Arthur Machen, M.R. James, Aleister Crowley, ‘Children of the Stones’ and Angela Carter, as well as film screenings and performances.

Fiend-PosterI’ll be talking about what it is that thrills us when we watch a film like ‘The Wicker Man’, listen to dark folk songs like ‘The Ballad of Tam Lin’, or read mysterious or magical tales. I’ll also be performing together with old friend Clare Button.

Burning Bridges & Fifth Column Films are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to make a film about the life and music of the wonderful Shirley Collins. The campaign ends on July 22nd and so far less than half of the £25,000 needed has been pledged, so if you’re a fan of Shirley’s and would like to see the film made, go to The Ballad of Shirley Collins and make a pledge, and pass the word around.


There are a number of fundraiser gigs happening this month, and I’ll be playing at the one put on by I Thought I Heard A Sound in Sheffield on July 21st. There’s also an exclusive compilation album called ‘Shirley Collins Inspired‘ featuring tracks by Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Alasdair Roberts & David McGuinness, Graham Coxon, and many more. Here’s my track for the album, featuring James Green on harmoniflute and Aby Vulliamy on viola:

It’s rare to find an event that weaves the occult, the artistic and the academic together but  The State of Magick / The Magickal State – at Leicester De Montfort University this friday and saturday promises to do just that.

SoM/MS, curated by performance artist Nick Kilby, is part conference, part performance, with presentations on friday 23rd and performances and actions on saturday 24th. I’ll be giving a presentation on ‘The Magic of Place’ on friday, talking about the process of listening to the land and being inspired by it during my time in Mid Wales.

charlotte2I’m looking forward to seeing Charlotte Rodgers, who’s an old friend and who will also be speaking and performing. Her art is breathtaking, sometimes dark, and always beautiful.

It’ll be an exciting gathering, I’m sure.