One of my newest discoveries this year is Lobo Marino. Yes, it is a seal but it is also the name of an excellent band. The experimental Earth Folk duo have been going for years but I stumbled across them through the Bandcamp followers recommendations. It is a gift that keeps giving lately. Their latest release is a great place to start as it shows the diversity of Lobo Marino’s sound.
‘Don’t’ Steal the Land’ is a uke, banjo and vocal track. There is a hint of Jesca Hoop here but more of a purging darkness is present. The way Laney’s vocals are layered up and slowly percussion and other supporting instruments fill up space is inspired. There is more in common here with the German folk scene than any other. That continues through with the title track. The plectrum picked strings and soft harmoniums evoke ‘Let England Shake’ PJ Harvey vibes. The vocals stay as a chant rather than conveying words but the tone is spot on for that darker beauty.
The EP then closes with the seven-minute ‘Born of Water’ opening with jews harp and drums we’re transported to the dry deserts as harmoniums and chants flow in. The pace quickens and the second half becomes a tribe dance that you could almost go clubbing with. It feels primal, full of life and cleansing too – even if it does carry the witching hour with it.
It is that balance that made me click immediately with Lobo Marino. Laney and Jameson both work all the instruments and sounds into something primal whilst showcasing its beauty too. Lovers of Pagan Folk, Aboriginal Folk and dare I say some of the hipster folk that’s springing up these days will adore Lobo Marino. A fantastic addition to the dark folk pantheon.
Recommended track: Don’t Steal The Land
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