Out now is latest album by Polly Paulusma called ‘Invisible Music’ which is a collection of traditional folk songs that influenced novelist Angela Carter, gracefully recrafted by Polly.
This epic assortment explores a multitude of lyrical themes from long past, most of which describe in grizzly detail dramatic loss, love, incest, abduction, war and death. Having discovered that Carter either sang or knew these songs, reframing these ballads became important to Paulusma — songs such as ‘The Maid and The Palmer’ which depicts a survivor of child abuse, or ‘Jack Munro’ which bears witness to the wartime antics of a cross-dressing heroine whose bold challenges to society bring her out on top, or ‘Lucy Wan’ where we’re privy to a brutal slaying of a young woman whose brother is never held accountable. Paulusma could feel the presence of these songs in Carter’s writing, but she needed to climb inside them and sing them herself to truly understand their power. Across the entirety of this LP we’re given the chance to view forgotten historical tragedies through a fresh lens, and through proximity to readings from Carter’s prose, to see the interplay between these old songs and Carter’s contemporary writing. Through Carter, Paulusma brings us the heroines she was influenced by, restoring historical narratives of female agency which are in danger of being lost.