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European Howl

by Agent Starling

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C’mon, hear the sound With helicopter arms swirling and twirling around What do you see? In the distance, getting closer, c’mon, when you get there... It’s glorious! ©2021 Louise Duffy-Howard
Dreaming of days by the wine-dark sea When enchantments and journeys Of dragons and villains Who, bursting with rage Scattered curses in millions I work at my spinning wheel Twisting and turning the fine silken thread as it flows through my hands Can an earth born woman Defy king and cathedral with mountainous powers When as far back as anyone can remember They have been picking us off One by two by three by … My sister was fooled by a Smooth handsome creature Who looked at her Led her deep into the foam His eyes didn’t leave us right from the start But how can I love a boy with a stone for a heart? My mother cried tears of red leaves and rain But no one could save her ‘til the star gazer came And striking a harp of fine silken thread The magic of music wakes me in my bed I’m still spinning tales, raising dreams from their graves To go weaving and crashing on the wine-dark sea waves ©2021 Louise Duffy-Howard
Requiem 04:58
My love it’s nearly time for me to slip away, just close your eyes I’ll be gone. Where I’ll go I just don’t know, there may be nothing there at all. But if I can I’ll send a sign, I’ll be waiting. You may see me in the clouds, the bubbling stream, the dancing leaves. You may hear me in the bird song, in the waves, the summer rain. When the wind blows around your face, breath me in. I’m everywhere. My heart will still be yours when only memories remain …. Summer walks along the cliffs, waiting for the show. Peering the in the brook a tiny fish – no, hundreds of tiny fish. A tea shop, a garden wall, one daisy in the lawn. A meadow mowed, a field ploughed, blossom turns to stone. The nights draw in, Christmas lights and snow. Skeleton trees, electric nights. I’m holding on to every breath ... ©2021 Louise Duffy-Howard
To cross boundaries I welcome you into my home, with freedom to be part of the whole, exploring independent souls. Drink in the difference, make it your own, nurture distinction, take it back home. Let it be joyous, together we stand, with the freedom to be part of the whole of the land. With freedom to share, breath in new air, music and spices, language and art, fashions and buildings, dancing ideas, games and traditions, poems and friends, our culture is yours it’s not where it ends. Look, the lone wolf is slipping back in time, howling at the moon. Look at the waves, lapping our shores, the very same water that flows … over yours. ©2021 Louise Duffy-Howard


Agent Starling's debut album, European Howl releases on all the usual digital outlets on May 4th 2021. The ten-track album is brimful of catchy hurdy-gurdy tunes, new songs, hypnotic drones, live bass grooves & strings, all with an experimental edge.

"Experimental hurdy-gurdy on duo’s impressive debut. European Howl is a complex, immersive and at times disorienting listening experience. Opening track ‘Helicopter Arms’ sets the tone – pulsating, intriguing, the distinctive droning, buzzing but melodic sound of the hurdy-gurdy and whispered spoken-word vocals … ‘Minor Surgery’ is a cyber-Morricone soundtrack with whipcrack noises and a splendid rumbling bassline."(SONGLINES July 2021)

"In all the years since this podcast started I don’t think we’ve ever knowingly featured a hurdy-gurdy – but there’s a first time for everything thanks to Agent Starling." (Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music)

Agent Starling are Quentin Budworth hurdy-gurdy and Lou Loudhailer voices & other instruments. Recorded in the first three months of 2021, European Howl also features Dexter Duffy-Howard on violin and cello. Recorded in Yorkshire UK by Agent Starling, the album was mastered in Oregon by Kevin Carafa.

The album is influenced by musical traditions from nations across Europe. A mix of instrumental pieces, spoken word and songs, themes range from a miscellany of Greek Tales (Wine Dark Sea), an elegy by a dying lover (Requiem) to Helicopter Arms, inspired by the glorious gurdy tune at the heart of the song. Delores County Ride is a tribute to the women who hop trains in Arno Bitschy’s film This Train I Ride, and the album’s title track is an ode to being European, a call for connection in today’s isolationist climate.

Visit the Agent Starling website: agentstarlinguk.wordpress.com

Quentin and Lou both have strong musical provenance. Lou was originally in prophetic UK Indie band Red Guitars and has gigged and recorded ever since, heading up psychedelic rock band Loudhailer Electric Company. Originally part of Suns of Arqa, Quentin is the force behind world fusion medieval rave band Celtarabia, also featuring Lou on bass. He spent the year before lockdown touring Europe meeting with other top hurdy-gurdy players exchanging tunes, techniques and experiences. The band usually play the alternative festival circuit throughout the summer, but due to lockdown restrictions on live music, Lou and Quentin joined forces to create Agent Starling and record European Howl.

European Howl releases on all the usual digital outlets on May 4th, 2021 on the DHM record label, catalogue number DHM028, distributed by Label Worx. Pre-release available from Bandcamp loudhaileruk.bandcamp.com/album/european-howl


released May 4, 2021

Agent Starling are Quentin Budworth hurdy-gurdy and Lou Loudhailer voices & other instruments. Violin and cello by Dexter Duffy-Howard. Recorded by Lou and Quentin, mastered by Kevin Carafa. Album artwork by Anna Kirk-Smith.

All songs written by Louise Duffy-Howard aka Lou Loudhailer and Quentin Budworth except 2. from Playford’s Dancing Master, 3 & 10. trad arr. Duffy-Howard & Budworth, 6. Michel Pichon arr. Duffy-Howard & Budworth.

© ℗ 2021 Agent Starling all rights reserved


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Loudhailer UK Hull, UK

DHM record label.

Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard Music

Artists include
Loudhailer Electric Company, Agent Starling, Lou Loudhailer and associated band releases.

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