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Karine Polwart

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Karine Polwart (born 1971) is a Scottish singer-songwriter. She writes and performs music with a strong folk and roots feel, and her songs cover a wide area, from alcoholism to genocide.

Despite winning the Horizon Award for Best Newcomer at the BBC Folk Awards 2005, Karine Polwart is no newcomer to the folk world, having previously been a member of Malinky and Battlefield Band. Her solo career is new, and it is for this that she has been particularly recognised. Her songs cover a variety of topics, and although she has claimed at live performances that they are all quite depressing, many have an uplifting aspect. This is particularly notable in “The Sun’s Comin’ Over The Hill” (which won Best Original Song at the BBC Folk Awards 2005) which tells the story of woman who reacts to the death of her partner through a period of depression, drink and drugs, but has a more optimistic chorus, with the narrator foreseeing an end to this period. There are exceptions to this: “Waterlily” — the tale of a man whose wife is killed during the war in Yugoslavia — offers no such comfort. “Only One Way”, on the other hand, is an upbeat song with a strong political theme and some biting humour.

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