Album of the Week: Lankum

Dublin-based 4-piece Lankum’s latest album The Livelong Day, released in October of 2019 on Rough Trade Records, is a powerful, stunning, and moving mix of the old and new.

If you listen to the band’s interview on NPR, you’ll hear tale of musical influences ranging from folk and traditional singing, contemporary Irish music from Lisa O’Neill, The Deadlians, Landless, and Junior Brother, and electronic music from bands like Autechre. Once you hear The Livelong Day, or any part of it, all of this will come into sharp focus through their sound.

“Something we were drawn towards doing in this album was trying to get that same sense of heaviness and just that crushing, apocalyptic drone but just through using traditional Irish instruments and trying out new ways of playing them and new ways of recording them, getting different sounds just to create these really texturally rich and droning soundscapes.

Need I say more?

Lankum is brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, Cormac MacDiarmada, and Radie Peat and they employ a host of instruments including Uilleann pipes, harmonium, concertina, and fiddle to contemporize traditional songs and bring two original compositions to light. My introduction to the band came about through hearing their version of “Katie Cruel”, which is just crushingly lovely and forlorn, on my favorite radio station on the drive to work.

I love NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series

The Livelong Day won Ireland’s Choice Music Prize Album of the Year. Lend it your ear and you will be richly rewarded.

You can pick the vinyl from Rough Trade.