EP Review

Lunatraktors – Bonefires: EP Review

Bleak times call for bold measures. Lunatraktors give us something to be going on with while we await the follow up to This Is Broken Folk. This is the Bonefires EP.

Release date: 16th October 2020

Label: Bandcamp

Format: CD /DL

We’re a year on from their debut This Is Broken Folk album that caused an intriguing stir. They’re currently recording the follow up at The Preservation Room which is proving to be their go-to place of work. We’re promised a broader sonic space although rooted in their performance focussed approach. The release is set for the 2021 Vernal Equinox.

In the meantime, a bit like when you go see Santa to tell him want you want him to bring in his sack on the big day, here’s the Bonefires EP to be going on with. They love their released ate tie ins, so Bonefires comes on the anniversary of the burning of the houses of Parliament in 1834.

The duo of Carli Jefferson and Clair Le Couteur (Julian Whitfield plays double bass and performs engineering duties) are a potent force. Their take on folk music and the way they’ve taken the genre into otherwise unforeseen areas has been a revelation.

The four songs open with a deeply soulful and gospel vibe on Black Raven II. The somber delivery betrays its origins as a cossack war tune and though there may be nothing for the old black raven here, but the first of these four tracks that fill the between album gap, add some anticipation for more Lunatraktors. A gentle piano interlude adds to the melancholy.

16,000 Miles is one where they’ve added their quirkiness to with some nice (and distant) tribal vocalisms deep in the mix. The pipes and starkness applied to Unquiet Grave might be as close as Lunatraktors get to traditional folk. The almost unaccompanied voice gets a hint of percussion and swathes of watery and swamp-like ambience. The challenges that the duo often throws at the audience are cast aside as this is a performance that’s totally compelling. Working the words to have a dig at the Government is a sharp touch.

Phew. And finally, we go all seasonal on Holly & Ivy. This wouldn’t be a Lunatraktors release without some body percussion. Both voices come to the fore in a song that’s not too far from the expected, ie, you’ll recognise it . However, it’s a version unlike any you’ve probably heard before. This isn’t a friendly Kate Rusby Christmas album. although there’s a genuine warmth about the rhythmic stabs and bubbling percussion. And there’s an idea, I’d love to hear a Lunatraktors Christmas album…

Appetite whetted. Job done and grand to hear another sort burst from Carli and Clair.

After selling out the evening show for the launch of Lunatraktors forthcoming Bonefires EP in under 45 minutes there’s now a matinee show to proceedings. Tickets available here

Listen to 16,000 Miles here:

Lunatraktors online: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp

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