Indie-folk singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Josienne Clarke is often said to draw on traditional British folk inspirations, but is a thoroughly modern, multifaceted artist who follows her own compass.
Blessed with a voice of crystalline beauty and clarity that has been compared to Sandy Denny, her myriad talents translate effortlessly to the live space in performances that are all her own. She has extensive touring experience having been a Rough Trade-signed, Radio 2 Folk Award-winning artist – two opposing poles that neatly sum up her inability to be pigeonholed – and has also been hand-picked as main tour support for folk legend Richard Thompson. She’s shared a stage with Robert Plant and has written songs for an adaptation of The Snow Queen for the National Theatre, performed by children aged 7-11.
Her varied background and effortless musicality mean a cover of Radiohead is just as likely to appear on the setlist as Nick Drake, as on her recent “Now & Then” EP live – hence she’s been able to slot seamlessly into the bill of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival as easily as that of End of the Road.
As well as being a guitarist and vocalist of alarmingly good quality, her unforgettably dark wit also acts as compelling counterpoint to her own twilit, low-key and intimate compositions when playing live. Clarke’s rare authenticity – really the main unifying thread running through her career – is something to admire: here is an artist singularly unafraid to express herself via her art and is naturally armed with all the verve and ability to do so – and bring the audience with her.