- 08 Nov 19
Dublin's anarchic folk heroes triumph on third record.
Few contemporary artists epitomise the integrity and authenticity at the heart of great folk music quite like Lankum. True to the title of their previous LP, the Dublin four-piece’s sound exists somewhere Between The Earth And The Sky – embracing both earthy, human grit and intangible, otherworldly textures.
With their new record, The Livelong Day, the group have re-emerged with a deepened sense of maturity and mortality, culminating in a project of uniquely raw intensity – and undoubtedly one of the finest releases of the year.
Lankum’s trademark organic ambience is brought to thrilling, sometimes terrifying, new heights, courtesy of their honorary fifth member, engineer and producer John “Spud” Murphy. Experimental instrumentation and playing include stunning appearances from the harmonium, mellotron, trombone and, most notably on ‘Hunting The Wren’, whatever else happened to be lying around the studio at the time.
Capturing the wily anarchy that’s always been an integral aspect of Irish folk music, the group handle inherited songs like ‘The Wild Rover’ and ‘The Dark Eyed Gypsy’ with immense respect – but they are never precious. As with their previous releases, ancient sounds and haunting drones are used as a vehicle to express modern issues and to explore the human condition – with ‘The Young People’, a rousing ballad about suicide, packing a slow-building, but ultimately devastating, blow.
Yet, despite fearlessly confronting these darker moments of our past and present, there’s also a deep, resounding love encased within the music throughout the album – with Radie Peat’s tenderly earthy vocals embodying the Irish landscape and people to stunning effect.
A remarkable and urgent reminder to celebrate the livelong days. Long live Lankum.