Album Reviews - Reviews

Lankum – False Lankum


With the title of their fourth record, Lankum evoke the folk ballad of Irish traveller John O Reilly for which they named themselves. As such, False Lankum is a sprawling epic that pays studious tribute to the quartet’s past while progressing into bold new territory largely hinted at until now. 

Recorded at the aptly-named Hellfire Studio in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, these twelve tracks possess an eerie otherworldliness that reveals itself from the off, as ‘Go Dig My Grave’ finds Lankum digging deeper into terrifying walls of ambient noise and experimentalism which anchor this collection throughout.

In turn, the album’s rich and sinister sonic depth gifts traditional folk standards such as ‘Newcastle’ and ‘Lord Abore and Mary Flynn’ a haunting and dreadful beauty, while also showcasing the vocal talents of the collective outside the Lynch brothers as Cormac Dermody memorably showcases his delicate vocal ability for the first time, on a stunning set of harmonies with Radie Peat.

With a duo of outstanding originals in ‘Netta Perseus’ and monumental apogee ‘The Turn’ into the bargain, False Lankum confirms itself as a masterful work from an exceptional set of songwriters at the absolute peak of their power. Andrew Lambert