Scowlin Owl

Scowlin Owl are an all-female folk band, low on twee but high on drama and vocal harmonies. They’re influenced by mythic storytellers from the classic (Dylan, Baez) to the contemporary (Decemberists, Midlake). Any story or concept which inspires them may become a song – their setlist includes tunes about the 2011 tsunami, creepy preachers, frozen cavemen, the Japanese John Wayne, the childlike love of waterslides and what Dolly Parton’s Jolene may have said in her defence.

The band love classic country and bluegrass plus the film scores of Ennio Morricone, which brings an americana vibe to many of their songs, and like the wonderful Carter Family they use harmony vocals to add depth and texture. The band have also drawn inspiration from the English folk story telling tradition, both ancient and modern.

Scowlin Owl is Nina Lovelace (vocals, guitar, flute), Yvonne Bordon (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Karina Zakri (vocals, acoustic bass), Sally Gainsbury (violin).

Having helped formed Mojo favourites Turnstile Junkpile in 2009, Nina left the band in 2011 with the mission to form a dramatic musical collective based on harmony vocals and folk-style storytelling. She was also determined to form an all-female line up, believing this would be the best way to present her songs.

Nina first hooked up with Yvonne who, with her instrumental genius and Glaswegian gumption, immediately ‘got’ the vision. Soon after Scowlin Owl found their high harmony vocalist Karina Zakri as she stepped off the plane from her native Norway and finally Nina’s friend Sally Gainsbury decided to throw in her fiddlin’ lot with the band. Since then the band have been gigging on the London acoustic scene and have just recorded their first single, Mifune – the tale of Seven Samurai star Toshiro Mifune.