- 12 Nov 19
Fresh from the release of their stunning new album, Lankum’s Radie Peat discusses folk’s inherent punk ethos, the rich musical heritage of Irish Travellers and the making of The Livelong Day. Photography: Ellius Grace.
With a sound that embraces a contrasting combination of otherworldly textures and earthy grit, Lankum have become torchbearers of what NPR in the U.S. recently dubbed “the strange new sounds of Ireland.” Since the release of their acclaimed debut, Cold Old Fire, back in 2014, the Dublin four-piece have carved out their own profoundly authentic road in Irish folk – handling their inherited tradition with precious care, while also brazenly defying the fossilising approach of the staunch folk purists.
From clocking up sets at the Royal Albert Hall, the National Concert Hall and Later… with Jools Holland, to taking home top prizes at both the BBC and RTÉ’s annual folk awards, there’s been no shortage of starry highlights in Lankum’s career so far. Now, with the release of their third album, The Livelong Day, Radie Peat, Cormac Dermody and brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch have re-emerged with a deepened sense of mortality and humility, culminating in a project of uniquely raw intensity – and one of the finest releases of the year.
“We’ve been trying to make an album that sounds like this for a long time, and we’ve finally achieved it here,” Radie says. “Collectively this is our favourite album. Our live sound engineer, John ‘Spud’ Murphy, is basically the fifth member, and he’s shaped a lot of the album. We were thrilled to have him record and produce the whole thing with us from the get-go.