There’s always been something a little bit darker about Lankum’s particular strain of Irish folk. The Dublin ensemble have a knack for instilling a sense of suspense and dread into traditional tunes and ballads like ‘The Wild Rover’ and ‘What Will We Do When We Have No Money?’, whilst still managing to stay true to the rousing, heartfelt nature of these iconic folk songs – their first full-length, 2014’s Cold Old Fire, was even released on tape by Dublin metal label Sarlacc Productions.
In One Leg One Eye, the new project from the band’s Ian Lynch, these dalliances with metal and drone take the foreground. Lynch played with heavier bands prior to forming Lankum, but this new endeavour is much more than a simple return to heavier pastures. The debut release under this new moniker, ....And Take The Black Worm With Me, is characterised by a sense of experimentation – this is the eerie drone textures of Lankum untethered to their usual folk song foundations, allowed to twist and morph as if drifting along on a strong wind.
A standout track from the release is ‘Glistening, She Emerges’, and the accompanying video’s release on this particularly cold winter solstice is especially apposite. One minute the track builds gently like a moorland stream, but soon that stream has cascaded down into raging rivers and become part of a wider, dramatic landscape home to life and decay in equal measure. The video is folk horror in its most enigmatic form – a morose whisper, intrinsic to the landscape yet only ever caught in hints through odd angles and obscured glances. It was directed by Lukas Feigelfeld, perhaps best known as the director for the fantastically hypnotic film Hagazussa, and features sculptures by Moran Sanderovich, with production from Retina Fabrik. The track itself features guest performances by Laurie Shanaman (Ails, Ludicra) and Ruth Clinton (Landless, Poor Creature).
On creating the video Feigelfeld says “my inspiration for creating a visual work for this track is rooted in the deep epic and cinematic quality of the music. It immediately opens a sentiment for the eternal and bitter might of nature, its indifference to human existence, the vile void of eternity. My aim was to travel into these natural landscapes and discover what is to be found, far from human influence, something organic, terrestrial or not, dead or alive, current or past; to be sucked into nature’s spell, immerse oneself, to emerge, glistening.”
...And Take The Black Worm With Me is out now on Nyahh Records and can be ordered here.
Words: George Parr