Emily Kelly and Graham Coe are Edinburgh-based duo The Jellyman’s Daughter.
“Somewhere between the realms of folk, bluegrass, pop, rock and chamber music, Emily Kelly and Graham Coe let go of any sense of trepidation and go on to develop a deeply soulful, break-neck amalgam of old-time and new age roots influences alike.” Popmatters
Singing with an affinity and closeness that can often have audiences puzzling over who is singing which harmony line, Emily’s honeyed voice and Graham’s soft introspective tone have an almost matching vocal range, like a fantasy collab between Norah Jones and Elliott Smith.
In their songs they incorporate cello, guitar and mandolin, and are often accompanied by long time pal Jamie Francis with his multi-style 5-string banjo playing. Their songs can range from a simple plaintive wisp of a feeling to complex musical endeavours.
After releasing their debut album - recorded mostly in their bedroom and random unused rooms at university - they wasted no time in hopping into their trusty hatchback and touring the UK, Netherlands and Germany, as well as touring Canada and playing Folk Alliance International. The debut album was named one of The Herald’s ‘Top 50 Albums’ that year and the duo also won a nomination for Best Acoustic Act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards.
In 2018 they released their sophomore album, ‘Dead Reckoning’; a step forward in maturity in their songwriting and sound, their voices blending as one over a cinematic backdrop of sweeping string orchestra accompaniment. The songs for this album reflect the weariness felt in the country and within themselves in a post-Brexit hangover. They toured the album across the UK and Europe (this time upgraded to an estate car), as well as an extensive tour of the US and Canada.
In 2019 Emily and Graham had their first taste of the outback when they teamed up with Woodfordia and The Festival of Small Halls to tour around rural Queensland and NSW playing to local communities, ending the tour launching the opening of Creative Scotland’s Year Of Scotland at the Sydney Opera House.
Emily and Graham started 2020 in front of a sold-out Celtic Connections crowd and had just set out on their most ambitious tour yet to promote their 2020 EP, Wake-Up Call which had them booked at festivals and shows across the world with dates in the UK, Australia, Europe and America before the pandemic pulled the plug. They were due to play such prestigious festivals as The National and Blue Mountains Music Festival but thankfully managed to squeeze in Port Fairy Folk Festival days before they had to return home.
All was not lost for the year though as they were delighted to be made patrons of Music Venue Trust and worked to help raise money for struggling venues as well as working on songs for the next album.
To cheer themselves up and end the year on a positive note they released a Christmas album that featured an original 2020-befitting Christmas song with a music video that saw them playing in ten of Edinburgh’s beloved (empty) music venues. The song was picked up by BBC Radio 2, BBC Introducing, and BBC Radio Scotland.
With an album’s worth of new songs due to be recorded in 2021, Emily and Graham are looking forward to picking up where they left off.