False Lankum by Lankunm album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


False Lankum


“Why should I not love my love? / Why shouldn’t my love love me? / Why should I not speed after her? / Since love to all is free.” That’s the question Irish drone, folk band Lankum put on one of the brighter songs on their latest offering, False Lankum. The world of their latest album, made up of mostly old Irish folk songs and two originals, has plenty of human darkness keeping love from being realized, however. Murder, suicide, intrigue and malice line these songs, in a reflection of man’s sometimes sordid history–personally, politically, as a nation, and as people of the world.

The band bring Irish ballads into the future, introducing an almost “slowcore” shadowiness to many of their songs. Their voices are rich and resonant and harmonious, and carry the ghosts of the stories they recall. It is the perfect introduction to centuries’ old song for a modern listener, and they worked with producer John “Spud” Murphy who has also produced Black Midi and caroline, as well as their last album, which won them Ireland’s Choice Music Prize for album of the year.

This modern, three dimensional folk offering is sure to garner even more attention for the band, creating not just songs but a whole sometimes bright, sometimes dark “atmosphere” with their expert arrangements. They are songs that would be thrilling to see performed live, filling the spaces they play with haunts of the past, present, and future. That is the heart, it seems, behind this group and their songs: mankind hasn’t changed much over the years. We still deal with the same heart wrenching stories of woe and passion and hope.

It is an hour and ten minute offering, and many of the songs are over the seven minute mark, sometimes because of instrumental interludes that introduce drone to the mix. It is a beautiful marriage of old and new and a tribute to past, present, and future musicianship and songwriting. This album is historical, is the best way to put it. Storytelling and music writing, fit for the history books.

Order False Lankum by Lankum HERE


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