London Folk Magazine and News
LANKUM Between The Earth And Sky
Dublin Folk Miscreants Lankum have been receiving great reviews for their new album ‘Between the Earth and Sky’ (now available on Rough Trade Records).
Named after the the child-murdering villain from the classic ballad, Lankum are a four-piece traditional folk group from Dublin, Ireland, who combine distinctive four-part vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, Russian accordion, fiddle and guitar. Their repertoire spans humorous Dublin music-hall ditties and street-songs, classic ballads from the Traveller tradition, traditional Irish and American dance tunes, and their own original material.
Having spent the last number of years performing as Lynched, the band decided that they would no longer continue with the name due to the unavoidable implications that it has in regards to acts of racist violence. Their new name comes from the ballad ‘False Lankum’, as sung by the Irish Traveller John Reilly Jr.
The band was originally formed as an experimental-psychedelic-folk-punk-duo by brothers Ian and Daragh Lynchin the early 2,000’s, and has since progressed through a number of incarnations, culminating in the four piece group playing today (along with Cormac MacDiarmada and Radie Peat who joined in 2012). They have gained somewhat of a reputation after the realease of their album ‘Cold Old Fire’ and an appearance on Later… with Jools Holland as well as three nominations at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Although an acoustic group whose repertoire is fundamentally based on traditional song, influenced by legends such as Frank Harte, Planxty, The Dubliners and the Watersons, subtle traces of the group’s collective influences can be detected, from American old-timey music, krautrock, ambient techno and psychedelic folk, to black metal, drone, punk and rock n’ roll.
Selected for the fROOTS November playlist
"brilliant, raw, detonating folk" The Guardian
"Irish folk quartet Lankum’s second album offers an object lesson in how to perform old songs in new ways, without losing the essential sense of continuity that gives traditional music its timeless appeal." The Independent
"Its raw, emotional heartbeat is laid bare at the onset." Mojo
"Their battery-acid sharp Dransfields harmonies and uilleann pipe drones ensure their second album is powerfully strange." Uncut