Musician of the Year 2023

Earlier this month, Julie was named Musician of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2023, at a glittering ceremony which celebrated all aspects of the traditional music world from performance and production to education.

The decision was made by public vote and Julie would very much like to thank every single person who took the time to vote!

New single – out today – and BBC Radio 4

‘Who Is This?’ is a song shaped and inspired by the Cuillin (An Cuilithionn) mountains on the Isle of Skye. The Cuillin are the shattered remains of the magma chamber of an immense volcano complex which was active around 60 million years ago. Born of fire and then shaped by ice, they now form a jagged, continuous ridge of tops, razor-edge ridges, scree-and boulder-fields, running for twelve kilometres, comprising twenty-two peaks, and involving over 4000 metres of ascent and descent, much of it technical.

In June this year, Robert Macfarlane (The Old Ways, Mountains of the Mind, The Lost Words) set out to attempt the mountaineering traverse of the Cuillin Ridge over two days, in the company of radio producer Helen Needham and guide Rich Parker. From the beginning of the journey — when Rob received a spontaneous gift from someone who had come to the Cuillin with the ashes of her father — the mountains surprised, amazed and challenged the group.

After returning, Rob worked with his friend and collaborator Julie Fowlis on a song about the range. Lines and images that Rob had jotted down while on the Ridge formed a basis for the song’s lyrics, which Julie shaped and set to music.  She worked on the song with brilliant musician Donald Shaw, who beautifully arranged the song for the Clockwork Sessions strings, conducted by Adam Robinson, and the track also features renowned fiddler Duncan Chisholm.

The title phrase intentionally echoes the refrain from ‘An Cuilithionn 1939’ (‘The Cuillin, 1939’), an epic poem about the mountains (and much more) written by the great Gaelic-language poet Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean).

‘Who Is This?’ features in the second of the two BBC4 radio programmes that Rob made while on the Ridge, produced by Helen Needham; both available to listen to on BBC Sounds as ‘Crossing the Cuillin Mountains (1 and 2)’.

The song is available to download from today from Julie’s store and you can also stream here.

US Tour 2023 and Braemar

Julie is thrilled to announce a short run of the dates in the US this October.  Starting in Daytona, FL and finishing in beautiful Davis, California, the tour will include shows in Vermont, Pennsylvania,  and South Carolina.  See the tour page for full details.  Spread the word!  She would love to see you at one of the shows.

In addition, Julie’s show in Braemar on September 1st has now SOLD OUT.  This is promising to be a special night in the beautiful setting of St Margaret’s Church on the outskirts of the Cairngorms National Park (Pàirc Nàiseanta a’ Mhonaidh Ruaidh).

New dates for 2023

Julie is delighted to announce some new dates for January 2023 – including an exciting co-headliner with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Karine Polwart and Robert Vincent at the beautiful Theatre Royal, Glasgow on January 27th.  She will also be appearing with Le Vent du Nord & Friends for their show on January 28th in the Old Fruitmarket, and will also be joining John McCusker for his special 30th Anniversary concert in the City Halls on Jan 22nd.

Julie and Karine will join forces again on January 29th as special guests of the mighty Kinnaris Quintet for their Burns and Beyond show in Edinburgh.  All dates with ticketing links listed on the tour page.

An exciting start to 2023!

New digital EP release: Source to Sea

Julie is delighted to release new music today.  Composed for the radio and podcast series Source to Sea, this three-track digital EP leads with the single ‘Silver in the Blue’ a song which Julie wrote for Lee Craigie and Jenny Graham’s journey to COP26, following the River Clyde.
Inspired by water journeys and nature’s rhythms, this particular track features Éamon Doorley, Kris Drever and Euan Burton.  You can purchase the digital EP (MP3s or high def audio) directly from Julie at…/digital-downloads/ or you can listen through this link
The beautiful artwork was created by Seth Tinsley Illustration ✨
Thank you to Tandem Productions, Lee Craigie, Jenny Graham and the The Adventure Syndicate and of course to  the #AudioContentFund for commissioning this and supporting the creation of new music.

Julie to play Cambridge Folk Festival 2022

Julie is absolutely delighted to be returning to the Cambridge Folk Festival 2022, for not one but two performances – one with her own band and another with the incredible Spell Songs crew.  It’s promises to be a cracker of a weekend, with some brilliant names on the bill and more to be announced.  For line-up and ticketing information, see here.


‘Spell Songs II: Let The Light In’

We’re delighted to let you know that the much anticipated Spell Songs follow-up album is available to pre-order now and will be officially released into the wild on December 10th.

Spell Songs II: Let The Light In is born out of the same heartfelt concerns that informed the artwork and poetry within these two books, namely, the loss of our natural world, the need for a more compassionate view of the wild and a determination that there is still hope.

Reunited in April 2021, after multiple pandemic postponements, the Spell Singers eagerly joined Jackie Morris and Robert Macfarlane at Greta Hall (once home to Samuel Taylor Coleridge) in the heart of the Lake District to begin their second collaborative residency. Each song may have originated within the hearts of one or two of the musicians, but through communal creative respect and generous musicianship these acorns of ideas were soon turned into truly collaborative works resulting in a stunning and unique album.

Andy Bell, the producer for both albums, witnessed the creation of each song during both residentials. This gave him a unique understanding of their origins. When it came to the recording process at Rockfield Studio and for the second album, Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios, he was ideally placed to express the true beauty of all of the songs. The finished albums are timeless and accomplished and have a deep presence that will soar straight to your heart and stay there.

These songs are infused with folk, world, experimental, rock, alt-country, classical and traditional elements which capture the essence of the ‘Lost’ books. Spoken voice, whispers, accents, dialects, native languages, birdsong, the bark of foxes, the soft sound of a moth’s wing, the sound of a children’s climate strike; all increase the intimacy and power of the musical world conjured by the Spell Songs band.

Describing the collaborative process Rob and Jackie write:

“We feel lucky beyond words to have been given the chance to work with such astonishing people…. with the musicians each bringing strands of word and song and image, then weaving them together by ear, in the air . . . it all seemed a profound gift to us both…’
Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

The Spell Songs ensemble will be on tour in January and February 2022, with festival appearances in Summer also.

Kings Place Artist in Focus 2022: Voices Unwrapped

Following a year when choirs fell silent, Kings Place in London celebrates the power and the joy of singing in Voices Unwrapped, their 14th Unwrapped series. Featuring solo voices to vocal ensembles to large choruses, they plan to fill their halls with Renaissance masterworks, close harmony a cappella, folk song, jazz vocalisation, lied, throat singing, gospel, electronically-enhanced contemporary voices to Baroque passions.

As part of this year long celebration of voice, Kings Place have invited two individuals to take on the role of artists in focus throughout 2022: Gaelic singer & musician Julie Fowlis and baritone & composer Roderick Williams. Julie is thrilled to be involved as a co-curator and artist-in-focus, and her first performance has been announced – with the Allt ensemble (featuring Zoë Conway, Éamon Doorley and John Mc Intyre) on January 14th. Tickets are available here.

Assassins Creed Valhalla

Announcing Julie’s involvement in the new expansion to the Ubisoft game Assassins Creed Valhalla, Wrath of the Druids, which has just been released. Julie spent time last year collaborating with renowned musician and composer Einar Selvik to create songs for the game soundtrack.

You can watch the trailer here

and the full album soundtrack has also been released worldwide on Lakeshore Records

Full Album:

Buy link:

Announcing new collaboration with Hawktail

Julie is thrilled to announce a musical collaboration with the incredible band Hawktail
as part of the new Folk Alliance International Artists In (Their) Residence project in partnership with Chris Thile.
This project matches ten US based artists with musicians from Australia, Canada, Egypt, Ireland, Israel, Scotland and Spain to raise awareness for The Village Fund, a grant program for artists and industry members in need.
The collaboration will be shared in the summer, but in the meantime have a listen to the first release in this series – the gorgeous sounds of Rose Cousins and John Paul White