A folk duo from the U.K. will be bringing an album full of shapeshifters and folklore, as well as lightness and warmth to Qualicum Beach on Aug. 9. — Courtesy Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage

U.K. folk duo to perform in Qualicum Beach

Beaton house concert to hear new album on Aug. 9

A folk duo from the U.K. with a brand new album is headed to Qualicum Beach to bring a bit of lightness and warmth.

Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage released their second album, dubbed Awake, earlier this year, once again teaming up with Canadian producer David Travers Smith who was named producer of the year by Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2013.

They’ll be performing at the Beatons home in Qualicum Beach on Thursday, Aug. 9.

“This album is bolder and more direct — there’s more original material too,” said the pair in an email. “There’s lots here about staying awake in the world — seeing what isn’t obvious.”

The music isn’t afraid to delve into the fantastical, with songs about shape shifters like selkies, were-foxes and green men, as well as other bits of folklore.

“We used tarot whilst we were recording to help guide our approach and deepen our understanding of the songs’ meaning,” they said.

“It’s very elemental this record for us. Yet still the sound is warm and direct — the four parts in duet is key to our sound. Dulcimer, dobro, guitars and voices all used to bring the songs life.

“The sea, the earth, birds all weave their way through songs of love and regret and hope,” they said.

Though the pair have wide musical tastes, a firm family grounding in folk is one thing that’s led them to the genre.

“Both of us were raised in families that loved folk and acoustic music, so it was always around,” they said.

It’s no surprise then that Sanders and Savage met at a folk club, specifically the Black Fen in Cambridge. Sanders had returned to the U.K. after living in the U.S. for several years, while Savage had finished touring with another band.

Of the genre overall, they said, “I guess we both love the imagery and the universal themes in traditional folk but are drawn to create within that too.”

While Sanders and Savage have played in Ontario before, they’re taking their first trip to B.C. “and we’re super excited for it.”

“Our hope is to move people,” they said of their upcoming performances. “But also, the world is pretty crazy right now!

“We see it as our job to give people a moment to breathe from that crazy — a moment to see some lightness and experience something that warms them.”

Sanders and Savage perform at the Beatons in Qualicum Beach on Thursday, Aug. 9 with doors opening at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $20. For tickets and location, email Joyce Beaton at beatonqualicum@gmail.com.

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