Lankum  “The Young People”

I saw Lankum play a delightful show at Boston’s Club Passim on a chilly Spring evening earlier this year, and then again recently in Fall River.
This new video and the song within is just brilliant. We look forward to the band’s next trip to the States. – THE HOBBLEDEHOY

The chorus of ‘The Young People’ first appeared as a kind of Scottish singalong in Daragh’s head one morning as he woke up, and not sure whether it was a traditional song he’d heard before, a composite of folk songs and melodies from his subconscious, or a completely original piece, he sang it into a dictaphone before it disappeared, like so many before it.
The band originally tried using it as a verse, writing others in the same style, but it didn’t seem to work quite as well as imagined. After sitting down and writing a couple of verses on suicide and loss one day, Daragh found that it fit perfectly as the chorus, providing some light to the darkness and adding a satisfying minor to major lift.
The resulting song, although quite mournful at times, is ultimately a reminder to cherish and appreciate your friends and loved ones while you still can.

“It is set over an autumn morning in Dublin, with all the action happening in the same little sliver of time. The idea was inspired by the lyricism of the first verse, especially the line ‘his feet were ringing a bell’. I found myself thinking about the starkness of that image, but then also considering what sort of actions other people’s feet might be doing at the same time to contrast that. I was interested in the idea of doing a video with a street photography approach, shooting it in a simple documentary-style, and concentrating on just feet and legs, set against the textures of the city. I spent a lot of time travelling through Dublin with my eyes on the ground, watching and waiting for interesting moments to happen. The way people move through or occupy city spaces, even in the most routine ways, form a sort of interconnected ephemeral dance. You start to see that there’s something very expressive about feet that makes them easy to empathise with. You somehow see more of a person by seeing less of them in the frame” [ Source: Nialler9.com ]

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Lisa O’Neill Receives Four Nominations at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Lisa O’Neil


Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Ye Vagabonds and Kitty McFarlane also nominated; Dervish to receive Lifetime Achievement Award. Listen to our playlist of all 2019 nominees.

Irish folk singer Lisa O’Neill has been nominated for four awards: Folk Singer of the Year, Best Traditional Track (‘Factory Girl’ with Radie Peat), Best Original Track (‘Blackbird’), and Best Album for Heard a Long Gone Song. The album was released last October on the River Lea label and also received a nomination in the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards.

Radie Peet

Welsh harper Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita have received two nominations (Best Album and Best Duo/Group), and Keita has also received a third as Musician of the Year. Finch and Keita’s duet album Soar has already won ‘Best Fusion’ album in the Songlines Music Awards and the fRoots Critics Album of the Year for 2018. The other nominees in Best Album are Flook’s Ancora and Hide and Hair by The Trials Of Cato. Voting for Best Album is open to the public in the UK.

Along with Finch and Keita, the groups Stick in the Wheel, The Breath and The Rheingans Sisters also received a nomination in the Best Duo/Group category. The other nominees for Best Musician of the Year are Jenn Butterworth, Mohsen Amini and Sam Sweeney.

Emerging artists and songs
Scots piper Brìghde Chaimbeul, who released The Reeling last year, produced by Lau’s Aidan O’Rourke, has received a nomination in the Horizon award (for emerging artists), along with Kinnaris Quintet, Kitty Macfarlane (who features on the Topic 80th anniversary album), and The Trials Of Cato, who won Best Emerging Artist/Band at the first Wales Folk Awards in April.

Ye Vagabonds (below), who received two nominations in the RTÉ Folk Awards last year, have been nominated for Best Traditional Track with ‘The Foggy Dew’ from their new album The Hare’s Lament. ‘Ffoles Llantrisant’ by VRï (which won the equivalent Welsh Folk Award with the same song) and ‘The Reedcutter’s Daughter’ by Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith have also been nominated, along with O’Neill and Peat.

Singers and musicians
The nominees for Folk Singer of the Year are Ríoghnach Connolly from Armagh, Olivia Chaney who has released two albums on the Nonesuch label, Gwilym Bowen Rhys (also Best Solo Artist at the Welsh Folk Awards) and O’Neill.

Kris Drever from Lau has been nominated in the Best Original Track section for ‘Scapa Flow 1919’, about the scuttling of a German fleet in the Orkney Islands after World War I. Also nominated are ‘I Burn But I Am Not Consumed’ by Karine Polwart from her album Law of Motion, ‘O-U-T Spells Out’ by Kathryn Tickell and The Darkening (‘An ironic look at borders, walls, barriers, Brexit…’), and O’Neill’s ‘Blackbird’.

It has also been announced that Dervish will received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. Commenting on the honour, the band’s accordionist Shane Mitchell said: ‘We are thrilled and so delighted to be receiving this very special honour at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, particularly as this is the 30th anniversary of the band.’ The group will perform on the night.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards take place at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 16 October as part of the Manchester Folk Festival. See the full list of nominees and listen to our playlist of all artists below. For more information, visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yrkrj.

 

Source: Lisa O’Neill Receives Four Nominations at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards | The Journal of Music: News, Reviews & Opinion | Music Jobs & Opportunities

EU Funded ‘Avante-Garde Eurovision’ Event EuroNoize To Debut May 2019

This May 23rd at London’s Scala comes the inauguration of an event which promises to turn Eurovision’s concept on its head, featuring a selection of European artists from the world of experimental and noise music.

The brainchild of artist and promoters Pil and Galia Kollectiv’s fascination with the Eurovision Song Contest, this one day conference will bring together a selection of 11 representative “punx and weirdos” to perform a single original song together, all being live streamed to an international audience, who in keeping with Eurovision will have a chance to vote for their favorite act.

Among the acts which will be appearing is Ireland’s Sissy. Known for their outspoken feminist politics and pro-choice activism, the lo-fi punk group may be the most melodic entrants of the bunch. ‘Sail and Rail’, their take on Enya’s ‘Sail Away’, garnered much attention for its brilliant parody of anti-abortion rhetoric. The song featured Radie Peat from experimental folk outfit Lankum, who are also well known for their political engagement. Read Lankum’s interview with Hot Press from earlier this year here. Other entrants in EuroNoize are cult Estonian group Winny Puhh, who actually competed in Estonia’s pre-Eurovision competition in 2013, as well as Russian experimental electronic trio Asian Women on the Telephone.

Pil and Galia Kollectiv are working with The University of Reading, Kunsthall Oslo and ARE Prague, alongside recieving EU funding for the project. Currently living in London, they were born and raised in Israel, ironically the controversial host of this year’s song contest. Seeing Eurovision on television growing up, they were struck by the program’s over the top spectacle: “the requirements on the one hand to represent an increasingly meaningless idea of national identity and on the other hand some kind of recognisabley Anglo-American popular music”. With EuroNoize, they hope to take their Eurovision fascination in a weird and boundary pushing direction. Continue reading

Grassroots music: the rebirth of political folk 

Lankum
Lankum

In 2019, British and Irish folk music is more exciting and urgent than it’s been for years. Much of it sounds powerfully raw and immediate, with many groups recognising the politics of our times in their songs, and incorporating contemporary stories within more ancient musical motifs. Here are bands confronting the legacies of abortion rights; the oppression of women, homosexuals and other minority communities; the loss of minority language; the refugee crisis; and stories of people who have stood up to hate. They’re not doing so in browbeating, bluntly obvious ways either. Some are uncovering small but powerful stories of overlooked people, whose achievements we can learn from. Others are creating more oblique and moving work, highlighting the injustices that linger in our society.

Many younger makers of modern folk grew up during the turn-of-the-century indie-folk revival, where taboos surrounding less popular singing styles and traditional songs started to disappear. A steady flow of reissues by the likes of Bert Jansch, Shirley Collins and Lal and Mike Waterson has since revealed how much of our country’s folk culture had been neglected.

We could call this explosion “woke” folk – though there’s much more to this disparate collection of acts than a slogan. Some have an experimental edge, incorporating influences from other genres such as krautrock. Some are more accessible and rousing, but all of the British and Irish artists that follow here share a common musical sensibility: they sing in recognisable voices, without varnish and sheen, delivering messages straight and sure about who we were, and who we are now.

Grace Petrie

Leicester-based singer-songwriter and activist who found her calling as a political folk musician after the 2010 general election

It’s rare that an interview can vindicate the wishes of an artist. Rare, but possible. In 2016, the self-proclaimed “radically feminist and radically leftwing” musician Grace Petrie released the song, I Wish the Guardian Believed That I Exist, in response to an article in the paper lamenting the current lack of protest singers in folk music.

In fact, by that point the Leicester-based singer-songwriter had been making politically charged protest music for six years, since the release of her breakthrough single Farewell to Welfare. In that fierce, guitar-driven number, Petrie found a new calling as a political folk musician, spurred by the 2010 general election and the Tories’ subsequent coming to power, propped up by the Liberal Democrats. “It was when the government changed in 2010 that I started thinking a lot more about austerity and there seemed to be much more to protest about,” says the 31-year-old, when I speak to her over the phone from Leicester. “It hit closer to home how things would change, to impact my life and those of the people I knew. Nine years on and this regime of austerity has left Britain unrecognisable.”

Before the explicit political references began appearing, though, Petrie describes the music she used to make as “abstractly political”. “When I was a teenager I was writing what I saw as pop songs – songs about my love life, because that’s what pop songs are about – but my love life concerned girls, since I wasn’t in love with boys,” she says. “I never saw that as a political act initially, but now I see it as a really political thing; the visibility of queer musicians and centring that in lyrics.”

This visibility still sits on the fringes of the music industry. Having self-funded her first eight albums, she released last year’s Queer As Folk through crowdfunding, still eluding major-label interest. “My career has been completely outside the mainstream and I’ve never known it to be any different,” Petrie says. Even the folk traditionalists were proving hard to win over. “The content of folk songwriting at the moment can be amazingly radical,” she continues, “but I’m not sure the audiences are with them all the time. You have your very wealthy, white, Telegraph-reading folk-club regulars who are happy to hear a song about the peasants’ revolt, but if you talk about food banks in their town, that’s seen as really uncouth. You notice this awkward shuffle go across the room.” Continue reading