Folk band Edgelarks played in Walton last week and spoke to the Surrey Comet while they continue touring their new album.

The album Feather was written by the band — Phil Henry and Hannah Martin — after a case of creative frustration led them to journey North, to the landscapes that inspired fellow creative talents Coleridge, Wordsworth et al.

"We hit a bit of a dry spell and thought we could do with getting out in the countryside and writing again. We did a gig for this guy and he gave us a week in his cottage in Cumbria near Scafell. It was beautiful," Mr Henry told the Surrey Comet.

The beauty surrounding them became a catalyst, and the pair ended up producing even more material than they'd anticipated.

"It was just what we needed. Hannah is the main songwriter and she really took to the cottage. She wrote more than an album's material in just that week.

"The surroundings made their way into the sound too. It's really reflecting nature around us. It was so productive to get an album and an EP out of it," Mr Henry said.

Feather, Edgelarks' fifth album, sees the folk duo strip back the sound of some of their previous offerings.

Mr Henry said they wanted to recapture the sound of playing live, something that was captured in part thanks to the way the album was recorded.

"We recorded live in the studio, facing each other we wanted just the sound of the duo and to capture that live, improvised feel," he said (pictured).

Simplicity in folk music is also something Edgelarks and Mr Henry in particular have striven for in recent years.

This approach was inspired in part by a journey to India the guitarist undertook 10 years ago, with funding from the Arts Council, in order to push his own boundaries by working with one of the foremost Indian musicians in the world.

"I was very interested in Indian classical music and I discovered this slide guitarist in India. Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya is probably the best slide guitarist in the world...It was a real eye-opener. I stayed for around two months and it was my first time out of Europe too."

"Indian music tends to be quite minimal — a rhythm instrument and a melody instrument — and they tell a story together, like a landscape approach that slowly builds up and you appreciate the space between the notes more and that's had a big influence on how I play my guitar and how I arrange stuff too," Mr Henry said.

Working with Indian masters is but one element in the way Edgelarks try and challenge themselves by forging new paths in folk music.

Another, the folk guitarist reflected, is experimenting with genuinely unique ways of making sound.

"What we do is taking traditional elements and pushing them in new directions," Mr Henry said.

"I'm doing some beat boxing through my harmonica. At one point I attached a fan to my acoustic guitar so that the blades of the fan rotate and cause the strings to vibrate...what can we do with these instruments that hasn't been done before? How can we go beyond their limitations?"

Edgelarks are touring Feather in the UK at the moment. For more info about the band and a list of tour dates, go to: