Underground trad refitters, give forth with some retooled and fresh material in the form of a short E.P. Coming on the back of no lesser achievement than making Mojo’s Top Ten Folk Albums of 2019, they’ve a growing reputation to uphold, a mission fulfilled in part.
Maybe it’s that you need a whole album’s length to get your head round their radical barbed wire roots, where in they dispense with regular instrumentation to use vocal technique, harmonium, percussion and clog dance – yes, you read that right – to give a window on traditional material that’s overly familiar. Bold and brave you could say, yet on a couple of tracks their folk minimalism seems to stray, with a down to the wire approach there’s no room to hide.
Most successful is the setting of ‘Holly & Ivy,’ off-beat rhythms and spooky chorals emphasising that there is more symbolism behind the carol than just growth that remains evergreen. Likewise ‘Unquiet Grave,’ is downright chilling using bows and cymbals to deliver observation about those caught in a materialistic poverty trap.
It might be a while before Lunatraktors get round to their next album, so this’ll have to do as a holding job. They’re not shy of making music that’s different and new, that’s to be encouraged. Convention clearly isn’t their thing, but sometimes it takes more than just being alternative to be convincing.