FolkWorld #81 11/2023
© Richard Penguin Press & Promotion

Challenging Stereotypes

Cambridge Folk Festival award winner Electro folk artist Frankie Archer releases ‘Oxford City' and ‘O the Bonny Fisherlad’ singles + ‘Never So Red’ EP.

Since making an impression at English Folk Expo last year, Frankie Archer has shone out as an innovative and fresh artist, getting play on BBC Radio 2, 3, and 6music. Frankie has just been announced as the winner of the prestigious Christian Raphael Prize at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Frankie Archer

Artist Video

Never So Red challenges out of date and harmful narratives and stereotypes, in traditional music and in everyday life. Women are not responsible for men’s projected feelings and don’t deserve to be punished for them. Women are powerful and wise, not voiceless victims. Sexual violence happens and should be called out, not swept under the rug. Chasing and pressure is not the way to go about love and sex. Expression of love and sexuality should be free for everyone.

This EP sees Frankie Archer unashamedly bringing together her love for electronic music and her love for traditional music. Never So Red is packed with all sorts of sounds: mega synth riffs with four on the floor kick, hazily manipulated vocal textures and rhythms, straight up trad fiddle, smooth synth bass, lo-fi elements, bare, acoustic pizzicato and raw, vulnerable vocals.

EP lead track: ‘O the Bonny Fisherlad’

"O the Bonny Fisherlad for me is just an explosion of Joy. Someone proper fancies the bonny fisherlad and isn’t afraid to tell people, wants to shout it from the rooftops. It’s also about breaking the unwritten rules of folk music. Why can’t a 150 year old Northumbrian tune go hand-in-hand with a driving synth riff and four on the floor?"
- Frankie Archer

Frankie Archer

Artist Audio Frankie Archer "Never So Red", EP, Own label, 2023

“Have you ever been there at the start of something new? Something exciting? Something that crackles with possibilities?” Gavin McNamara (Bristol 24/7) witnessed the power of Frankie Archer’s music. She is fresh on the scene and shaking up genres and traditions, sharing the lesser told sides of stories, championing women, challenging perspectives and calling for a fairer future, all to a unique mix of synths, manipulated samples, drum tracks and earthy fiddle and voice.

Frankie Archer’s imaginative and bold mash of electro alt-trad shows her Northumbrian fiddle roots, her deep love of electronic music and her immersion in soulful folk songs from the North East of England and around the world. Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2) described her music as “Fascinating and Intoxicating”.

Frankie's unique, fresh sound has pricked up the ears of fans and press, earning wonderful reviews from Tradfolk and Fresh on the Net, and being chosen by Fatea for their Showcase Session. As the 2023 recipient of the Christian Raphael Prize, she has very good things ahead. Her Debut EP, Never So Red, is bold and innovative and set to make waves.

Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Frankie Archer (unknown/website).

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