Karl Culley unveils stripped back new acoustic album

Karl Culley.
Karl Culley.

By Graham Chalmers

One of Harrogate’s finest singer-songwriters and acoustic guitarists has just released his fourth album.

Now based in Poland, the fast-fingered Karl Culley’s new stripped-down 12-track collection is already garnering great reviews for the quality of its songwriting and its unique blend of intensity of thought and warmth of feeling.

After earning ‘album of the year’ status for 2013’s Phosphor album, Stripling finds the intense but quietly humorous Karl in fine form in an album which features just two instruments - his voice and his acoustic guitar.

Karl said: “I wanted Stripling to have a purity, a sort of distilled essential quality to it more akin to my live shows. It’s stripped down and bare but, hopefully, less is more.”

Music fans in this district may remember the devilshly quietly-spoken Karl when he was a member of local indie band Mindermasts and, later, roots band Las Sangras.

Part of Karl’s talent comes from being able to subsume so many different musical histories in a natural fashion.

Many of his fans say they hear whispers of Bert Jansch, John Martyn, Paul Simon, Nick Drake and more.

Karl said: “I don’t know how to classify my music but I don’t write folk songs.

“I tend to think of folk as traditional music from a given country with tales passed down and generic chord patterns. That’s not me.”