Welcome

“Refreshing and utterly magical” The Herald

“Over the years she’s drawn comparison to several world-class artists, including Peggy Lee, Alison Krauss and Norah Jones. That sort of information comes as no great surprise once you’ve had the chance to hear Bancroft sing. Her voice is a perfect instrument.” Leicester Bangs

‘SONGS’cd cover for website
Sophie Bancroft with Louis Durra
Released: 2nd February 2015, Lisaleo Records 0801

“Bancroft’s best album by some distance. Her voice as beautifully recorded as I’ve heard it and the music covering her songwriting career.” The Herald
full review here

“If Dolly Parton was from Scotland and sang jazz for a living then that’s exactly how Jolene would have sounded.” Roddy Hart, BBC Radio Scotland

Available from the shop here (CDs or downloads) and from ITunes, Amazon and TheShop@BirnamCD

‘SONGS’ the seventh CD from singer-songwriter Sophie Bancroft, features songs new, old, borrowed and blue, encased in Louis Durra’s stunning arrangements.

Bringing to mind Rickie Lee Jones, Norah Jones, and Suzanne Vega, ‘SONGS’ takes the listener on a journey that could be about a year in a life, or indeed a lifetime, with songs of love lost, found and long-term – intertwined with the spirit of Scotland’s natural beauty, an inspiration for much of Sophie’s writing. “I am thrilled to have my landscape photography on the CD cover. These images from my many walks, reflect the influence of the countryside on my song-writing.”

Listen to a couple of tracks from the new CD

With the help of Creative Scotland, Sophie brought together Louis Durra, Tom Lyne on bass and Stuart Brown on drums to record beautifully empathetic arrangements of Sophie’s repertoire.

Louis Durra on the SONGS CD:
“While arranging for SONGS, a few verses seamed to want different settings.  New chords began appearing, extra beats, other keys…  Sophie’s haunting, transparent songwriting made the ‘new camera angles’ possible.  The shifts highlighted the lyrics, not the music – or so it seemed to me…
 The piano parts went a similar way while recording:  few recurring parts, more like different reactions to each verse.  I already knew what a reactive musician Sophie is, and she was fearless during sessions — jumping right into very different settings of her songs.  I felt it worked out very well.  lots of freedom for vocals and piano, the other instruments more grounded, everyone listening like mad — I think we really captured something, really did well by her music.  
I was in a café in Berlin today — SONGS was playing.  It got me mulling over what we could record next! – It’s lovely hearing the album out in the world, hearing people’s reactions.  I really enjoyed bringing these versions of the songs to light. “ 

Sophie’s first collaboration with Louis Durra was for the ‘Made In Scotland Showcase’ in 2013 at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. “Highly imaginative…inventive style…intriguing territory…One of the top 50 must-see shows in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival” The Scotsman. Louis, (based in LA at the time, now residing in Berlin) had come across Sophie’s music before performing at Fringe in 2011. Haunted by her music, Louis began playing her songs as jazz instrumentals. Meeting in 2012 during Louis’ second Fringe run led to performing together, and ‘SONGS’ is the result.

Sophie has a strong music pedigree; great-grandmother Rose Bancroft was a music-hall entertainer in the early 1900’s, parents who were semi-professional jazz musicians in their earlier years and brothers Tom and Phil Bancroft, innovative jazz musicians in the current scene. Sophie’s songs have been heard on the HBO hit TV series Six Feet Under, and award-winning vocalist Liane Carroll recently recorded ‘Calgary Bay’ with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra on her CD ‘Ballads’. “…equally rewarding is her interpretation of Sophie Bancroft’s evocative Calgary Bay” – MOJO

A successful recording musician in the musical shark-tank of Los Angeles, Louis has travelled a sharp-angled creative path: experimental theatre in Iceland, tours with Captain Beefheart band members, sound editing for kickboxing movies… His pop deconstructions in jazz trio format led to a Herald Angel Award during the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a USA radio jazz top five hit in 2012. “Spinning jazz gold from the unlikeliest material “- HERALD

I am also excited to report that I am in the process of putting together a selection of cards  entitled SEA, SKY, TREES AND SONGS, which bring together the images I capture on the many walks I take around Scotland and the song lyrics inspired by them. These should be ready for purchase in early spring.

 Meanwhile, keep track of all the vocal workshop dates on the TEACHING WORKSHOPS PAGE as these workshops do all tend to sell out.

Highlights of 2014

Bancroft & Lyne’s performances at Rochester International Jazz Festival in New York as part of the ‘Made In The UK Showcase’ and their performance for the American-Scottish Foundation in New York City.

Bancroft & Lyne’s Highland Tour July 2014.

Recording with Louis Durra, Tom Lyne and Stuart Brown at Castlesound Studios for the new CD ‘Songs’.

Bancroft & Lyne at the wonderful Smailholm Village Hall.

Creating phototypes of my new lyrical greeting cards using my photos and song lyrics.

Using my photos on the CD cover design for the new CD ‘Songs’.

Highlights of 2013

Sophie’s song ‘Calgary Bay’ recorded by LIANE CARROLL and the PRAGUE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA with orchestration by Grammy award-winning orchestrator CHRIS WALDEN and Grammy nominated producer JAMES McMILLAN. Released on QuietMoney Recordings in April 2013.

Sophie was selected to showcase her song-writing with American jazz pianist LOUIS DURRA during the 2013 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in the prestigious MADE IN SCOTLAND SHOWCASE.

Sophie’s ‘Made In Scotland Showcase’ concerts with Louis Durra were listed as one of the TOP 50 MUST-SEE EVENTS IN THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL by THE SCOTSMAN.

SOPHIE BANCROFT and TOM LYNE performed to sell out audiences in Alberta, Canada, the Gala Concert at the Leith Jazz Festival and the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival.

Sophie is a member of the renowned PATHHEAD MUSIC COLLECTIVE who were awarded the CREATIVE PLACE AWARD 2013 by CREATIVE SCOTLAND.