Box player David Munnelly grew up playing traditional music. He plays Irish dance tunes in the style of a box player performs them with flair and a level of mastery you’d expect from someone as talented and dedicated to the music as he is. However, from a young age, driven by an innate musical curiosity and rapidly acquired fluency, Munnelly began pushing his chosen instrument further than most to discover what more it could do--what more it could help him to say. So, Munnelly really plays the accordion in a fuller, more international sense.
His sound is unmistakably his, but with a deep respect for many other masters coming through, from John J Kimmel to Máirtín O Connor to Riccardo Tesi. He has also come up against the limitations of his instrument in terms of its relatively mechanical nature, and with scientific dedication to perfecting the possible ornamentations, he has made a virtue of those limitations. Munnelly is also an obsessive collaborator, with at least three other (than his solo career) projects on the go at any time. One of these is Ven_ture, started after a conversation about working on some new arrangements and ideas for the voice and simple and unconventional accompaniment. The trio, Anne Brennan, vocals; Joseph McNulty, violin, and David, accordion loves the process of planning new arrangements for old music and composing new melodies that suit the unique sparse sound produced by accordion and fiddle but playing non-conventionally and creating new sounds in the process.
Lankum is a four-piece group from Dublin, comprising brothers Ian Lynch (uillean pipes, tin whistle, vocals); Daragh Lynch (vocals, guitar); Cormac Mac Diarmada (fiddle) and Radie Peat (harmonium, accordion, vocals). Lankum channel a diverse set of influences and histories to create a beautifully rare thing: a songbook from and for the people. With a natural alchemical ability to combine traditional folk roots with contemporary undercurrents, they forge a style that is dark, mysterious, transcendental even.
Born out of years spent criss-crossing Dublin's folk, squat and experimental scenes, their two albums--Cold Old Fire (2013, actually recorded under former name Lynched) and Rough Trade debut Between The Earth and Sky (2017) breath new life into ancient/modern rituals with urban punk fervour, rural psycho-geography. Underpinning it all is that eternal drone of the uilleann pipes. Lankum is a group of individuals united by a collective mentality, whose close vocal harmonies, instrumental interplay and dramatic storytelling keep you rivetted and revive your spirit. They show that folk music can be angry, progressive and is still a vital force today.