Scarlet Starlings

An alternative folk band of cousins and significant others

Can Art Save You?

We’re looking ahead to our next project! This time, it’ll explore art and how important it is in our lives, especially in the wake of the pandemic. We’ll be doing an exciting collaborative project with a group of artists and creators, highlighting the importance of creativity in nurturing our souls and hearts!

The premise is: Can art save you? Sara-Mae and her band Scarlet Starlings set out to write a song that could actually save you… well, in a mental health sense. And while we’re at it, we ask other artists to create a piece they hope can save someone too. Do you think art has this sort of power? AmyBaker thinks so. Enjoy this gorgeous teaser she made with the gorgeous Urte Ugne Juodvirsyte.


New album coming soon! The Murmuration…


Grab a sneak peak of our new album with this adorable video for ‘THE STARS WAIT FOR US’ involving some of the most adorable kids and babies we know.  Confined to their homes during lockdown, they still find a way to escape through their imaginations…

We’ll also be collaborating on a new podcast with Sara-Mae’s award-winning indie podcast company Fable Gazers in 2021, but our album will be coming out in September/October with 14 brand new tracks exploring the idea of fairy tales for this dark new age, and themes which resonate with the turmoil of the current times.

Until then, here are some cute babies! (You’re welcome 😉

Sara-Mae’s new Indiegogo fundraising page is up and running

Sara-Mae has been beavering away for over two years, preparing the first two seasons for a brand new podcast company she’s hoping to launch…with your help.

“Fable Gazers was developed to produce crafted narrative podcasts with our own special twist. We plan to build stories from fact and vice versa – all with a journalistic edge and sense of fun that will inspire obsession in people who adore podcasts. If that’s you, and you love podcasts like This American Life, Serial, S-Town, then help us by donating or passing this page link on to your friends. We need your help to edit, produce and release our two podcast series.”

Along with using a wealth of great music from incredible artists like Danny Green of Laish, Kristin McClement and Emma Gatrill, the Scarlet Starlings themselves are going to score some of the future pods…a prospect which is very exciting.

So, if you have a tenner to spare and love podcasts, why not check out the page, donate and share.

Go to the Fable Gazers Indiegogo page to find out more.


The starlings




Gigging at Softly Softly Sunday 12

softly softly poster


Looking forward to our gig on Sunday at Kiss the Sky in Crouch End. It’s always a warm and mellow afternoon of music, though being totally unplugged can be challenging for performers…plus we’re trying out a few new songs from our album-in-progress, so that will be fun.

Hope to see a few friendly faces out there and maybe a mug of mulled cider to wash it all down with.

Lots of love,

The starlings,


Singing with Willy Mason…


Sara-Mae Tuson (left), Willy Mason (middle), Barbara Bartz (right)


On a divine summer’s evening last Thursday, Talitha and Sara-Mae got to sing back up for the great Willy Mason. You know when everything seems made out of magic? From the huge and shady fig tree at the bottom of Zoe’s garden, to the sweet little black cat sleeping on one of the blankets that cover the grass?

Danny Green of Laish organised the relaxed shindig, something he’s done a few times before with Willy, and he and the girls also played a few of Danny’s (spectacular) new songs.

Jamie Doe of The Magic Lanterns also played some of his sparkly, compelling songs. To cap it off, Zoe recited some of her poems. Her self-contained dynamism and wry humour made her performance really special. Also, her recipe for frozen chocolate-covered ‘banana cocks’ earned her the title of ‘Best Host 2017’.

We were all drunk on the gorgeousness of the moment, the company, the food and yes, the copious amounts of wine.

It was dark by the time Willy went up to play, and the girls were nervously whispering behind him, scared to muck up the hastily rehearsed harmonies they’d learnt for Face That Glows, a swooney new song, as well as If It’s the End, Talk Me Down and Restless Fugitive. Barbara Bartz, the gorgeous and talented violinist for The Quivering Poets (amongst other bands) had been pulled in by Sara-Mae to improvise a bit of blue-grass stylings, which she did.

We egged Willy on to singing loads of his incredible songs, some new, some old (Waiter at the Station, written by his mother, and one of Sara-Mae’s favourites). We felt that we’d been somehow given this incredible luxury. What an utter legend the man is.

Wish you all could have been there,


The Starlings


Working on a new album!


You may be wondering where the hell we’ve been? Wandering the streets of London, a faraway look in our eyes, the stains of old spag bol dinners marking our shirts?

Well, yes.

But also, we’ve been beavering away at a *brand new album*. Obviously it’s hard for you to be as excited as us about this because you haven’t heard the cracking tunes we’re cooking up but…mmm this is going to be good. With lyrics about lonely millionaires, having stones for eyes and one song called Mouths are Moths, we think there is something for everyone. From er…lonely millionaires to mouthy moths.

We’ve just had the incredibly talented Mike Siddall, violinist with double Ivor Novello nominated folk-pop collective The Leisure Society, laying down some sick violin for us as well. It was a bit like someone giving you a Lamborghini and a long stretch of road…

Concocting an album is one of the best parts of making music and we are having




To hear more about our progress, follow us on Twitter or listen to our early tunes here.

Leonard Cohen Cover – ‘Leaving The Table’


What with all the misery of the Trump fiasco and then the rotten cherry on top of the great LC dying, we thought this was a fitting song to suit the mood of anyone who’s had it with 2016. Off his final album You Want It Darker (2016), a gorgeous, somber work.

It’s very rough, as Sara-Mae could barely sing it without tearing up, but we hope it will make you feel better.

Check it out on our Soundcloud page.

Great gig!

We had such fun last night. The other act, Desert Plains, Jake Morrell and of course Fred Abbott blew us away. We had a blast….

Thanks to David and the team at The Islington, and most of all, all you sweeties who came to see us.

Love you lots!

The starlings

2 more sleeps until our gig supporting Fred Abbott of Noah and the Whale…

Despite the fact that we won’t have our darling Talitha singing and playing with us, we’re excited about seeing all your lovely faces at the gig this Thursday. There’s still time to get your name on the guest list, for cheaper tix, so get in touch ( if you want ’em.

Here is a collection of our little gig promos in the meantime, for your enjoyment:

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gig promo pic 28 july

gig promo pic 28 july 2

All of which is to say…did you know we have a gig on Thursday??

The Islington, 1 Tolpuddle Street, London, N1 0XT, 8pm.


See you there!

xx the starlings

Our Willy Mason cover on the WCA covers album!

we come alive pic

We’re delighted to have been a part of the phenomenal We Come Alive Covers Project and today, as a special gifty/teaser for our gig tonight, you can listen to us (hopefully not murdering) the brilliant ‘Talk Me Down’ by Willy Mason.

Danny Green from Laish created the WCACP and there’s a host of truly fabulous bands taking part. Some of our very favourite, in fact, from This Is The Kit to Ezra Furman, so we feel very honoured to be included. And it’s all freeeeeee!

Yep. You heard us. Gratis. Nada. Nenio.

According to Danny, “I drew up a list of musical friends and heroes and asked each one to submit a cover song chosen by someone else on that list. I love hearing good covers, it is such an interesting process seeing how people approach performing and recording someone else’s material. I also wanted be part of bringing together the musical community that surrounds and inspires me through running We Come Alive shows in London.

Initially around 20 songwriters and bands agreed to participate. As I write this, 13 tracks have been recorded and I absolutely love them! The collection is an incredibly enjoyable, surprising, varied set of songs and I would like to begin sharing them in instalments as they are worthy of taking time to savour. More tracks are due to appear soon, including recordings by Willy Mason, David Thomas Broughton and This is The Kit.”

A special thank you to alumni Starling Simon Tuson for his help and Dave for adding some lovely keys in about two hours….

If you want to catch us in action we’re playing tonight at Hootananny Brixton.

Listen and share if you love us.

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