The Last Mixed Tape reviews The Livelong Day, the brand new studio album from Lankum.
Making the return the earthy, windswept world of Lankum’s music is a welcome journey indeed. There’s a wildness to The Livelong Day, an unkempt rough edge to the traditional music that flows within that Lankum unleash whilst maintaining a handle on the atmosphere, and the mood, of a record that feels like an act of expression over precision.
‘The Wild Rover’ opens The Livelong Day with a tense and uncompromising ten minute epic that patiently brings the listener into the beguiling and deep seated soundscapes that occupy Lankum’s latest offering. Taking no prisoners, this introduction sets out exactly what the group want to convey with The Livelong Day, as the mood driven air and ephemeral nature of the music itself take hold.
And the patient, sprawling sound of The Livelong Day doesn’t falter. Continuing with the turbulent lament and dynamic rise and fall that takes place over the seven minute run time of ‘The Young People’, the long held drone and soaring vocal of ‘Kaite Cruel’ and the great swells of engulfing texture that lie beneath ‘Hunting the Wren’, Lankum weave a spell that feels deeply crafted within the traditional and folk roots of the music and left to grow out of the ragged organic production.
The Livelong Day is a mood piece. The album seems to have a life all of its own, as the landscape growns and shudders in instrumental tracks like ‘Ode To Lullaby’ while the characters living in it regale us with their stories of loss and regret (the aforementioned ‘Katie Cruel’). This is the masterstroke of Lankum’s music, it’s not only story telling, it’s world building.
And so it goes, The Livelong Day takes the flourishes and sounds traditional music and removes the revisionism by making a music that feels essential to it being. An immediate sound that embodies something needing to be expressed in the moment and uses the art of traditional music and storytelling to convey that to the listener in album that is as detail and inspiration as the landscapes that influenced it.
The Livelong Day by Lankum is out now via Rough Trade Records.