THE first collaboration of the autumn season between the Black Swan Folk Club and the National Centre for Early Music sends acoustic duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin to York tonight under their new collective stage name of Edgelarks.

Touring to promote their self-titled new album, Edgelarks play the NCEM, in Walmgate, where they will be supported by opening act The Little Unsaid, alias John Elliott, who produced the new record.

"We've been wanting to bring Phillip and Hannah to York ever since their BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards best duo win in 2014," says Black Swan Folk Club organiser Roland Walls. "But this is the first time we've managed to find a suitable date, and we're delighted that it coincides with the release of the Edgelarks' album, which has already picked up some glowing reviews."

Released on October 6 by Proper Music, Edgelarks is Henry and Martin's fourth album and their most innovative to date. Much of the record was conceived during the duo’s extensive Australian tour of 2016. Although only one song, Signposts, is inspired directly by their time Down Under, the warmth and new inspiration of their travels can be heard throughout the work on Edgelarks.

Recorded in May 2017 at Cube Studios in Cornwall, Edgelarks is an album about transitional spaces. Liminal places, people and times, the straddling of boundaries and thresholds; crossroads and borderlands; travellers and refugees; dusk and dawn.

It reflects on the pause between an old way and a new one; the idea that, despite often being places of marginalisation, these are also places of change and therefore places of hope. In the end, we have far more in common than things that divide us, because we are all liminal; we are all standing on the threshold of tomorrow; we are all just passing through, say Edgelarks.

Producer John Elliott has introduced a palette of new textures, from the stillness of a muted piano contemplation to a grizzled Moog beat. On Song Of The Jay, he uses samples of the call of a jay to create a synthesiser that underpins the track. On Iceberg, he interweaves a field recording of ice breaking. At the end of Yarl’s Wood, he incorporates the sound of the “Set Her Free” protests against the treatment of women at the Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

The album features several unusual instruments, one being completely new to the duo: the pedal-powered shruti box, a drone instrument, originally from India, usually played by hand. However, the pedal is key in the live performance context, because it allows the pair to introduce the new texture, while still playing all the other instruments.

Tickets for tonight's 7.30pm gig cost £14 on 01904 658338, at or on the door from 7pm.