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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

UK-Based, The Last Inklings, Release 3rd Single and Video From Upcoming Debut Album

The Last Inklings are Leonardo MacKenzie and David Hoyland, both accomplished multi- instrumentalists with a solid folk background. The band's innovative sound crosses genres, centred around cello, mandolin and vocal harmony, layered with guitar, piano, strings, synths and percussion. With vibrant backstories and creative musicianship, their songs have a modern flavour that is rich with imagery and narrative, exploring at their core what it is to be human.

The new 12-track debut album, The Impossible Wild, explores the role of nature, myth and superstition in the modern world. The album is a wonderful celebration of storytelling that uses symphonic arrangements and narrative lyrics to conjure up a variety of themes and imagery. Through the lens of music and metaphor, The Last Inklings explore contemporary issues including mental health, personal wellbeing and growth, and our impact on the environment.

“Story and myth have always helped us to define who we are, and they are just as relevant today.” say David and Leonardo. “In many ways, these old stories have lost their meaning in society and have been replaced by consumer narratives in TV and film. Our detachment from true myth and meaning could be a reason why we have become so far removed from our natural state, which has left us more vulnerable to mental health issues. Yet we have the power to shape our own lives if we can learn to live outside our ego, whilst recognizing and rebalancing our place in the world. All stories have power, but the stories we tell about ourselves have the most.”

A dark and dreamy waltz built around a hazy, half-remembered fragment of Tchaikovsky, Vespers parallels the plight of the cock-stride ghosts of old English folklore with modern mental health issues. At the boundary of night and day jasmine flowers pour their perfume into the twilight air as creatures of this liminal time emerge into the half light. A moth chases a moon that is forever out of reach, tracing the infinity symbol in its flight, all the while chased by a bat. A hawk and an owl, sat side by side in unnatural harmony, sing wordless Vespers into the approaching night as a spirit flickers in and out of view, spinning in an endless dance until doomsday finally brings their penance to a close, mirrored in the cello of the instrumental as it fights to endlessly ascend before ultimately failing to find resolution. This natural imagery lifted from the lyrics of the song can be interpreted as a reference to despair and depression, but also hope, based on the knowledge that such things can quickly pass just like the fleeting twilight.

Drawing on the themes of nature and the supernatural that are woven through the debut album, the animated video trilogy which concludes here with Vespers was hand made by the band, who taught themselves stop frame animation during the long months of lockdown. While conceived as stand alone stories, the videos were written to flow seamlessly into each other and will be combined into a short film, due for release later this year.

Leo, the band's singing cellist says “The journey behind the video trilogy began with a simple hand drawn moth and moon, and we went on an epic journey through the animations for our first two official releases, Hunter’s Folly and Sleeping Giant, before finally 'coming home' to Vespers.”

Mandolin maestro David says “The song itself grew from a haunting mandolin waltz and a half remembered piece of a Tchaikovsky ballet, and it was important to capture that dark and dreamy dance in the visuals.”

The Last Inklings, Leonardo MacKenzie and David Hoyland, are former members of Kadia who performed a mix of traditional and original folk inspired songs with their debut release East Of Alexandria (2015) featuring in the Telegraph’s Top Folk Albums.

Leonardo MacKenzie is a classically trained cellist with 15 years of live session work in studios across the country alongside producers including Mark Tucker (Portishead, Jethro Tull, Show Of Hands, Fairport Convention); and musicians such as Ninebarrow (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominees) and John Parker (Nizlopi, Ward Parker).

David Hoyland began his musical career as a percussionist playing drums in jazz, blues and rock bands. With a largely grass roots musical education and experience of songwriting, David now also runs Impossible Audio, a studio offering mixing, mastering and composition for film, TV and video games soundtracks.

The Impossible Wild is available to purchase and stream from Bandcamp and all digital outlets from 1st October.


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