The Last Inklings: The Impossible Wild
The Last Inklings The Impossible Wild Album Artwork.jpg

The last premonitions – the impossible wilderness

Gillywisky Records – October 1, 2021

It is hard to imagine that there will be a better debut album this year than The impossible wilderness from The last premonitions. The release in 2020 of their alchemy EP certainly gave every hint of the obvious talent and creativity of David Hoyland and Leonardo MacKenzie, the duo that goes by the name that refers to the literary group from the mid-20th C.S. Lewis’s Room at Magdalen College, Oxford and included other luminaries such as Roger Lancelyn Green and Tolkien. Nevertheless, this evening-length offer far exceeds all expectations of this household.

Leonardo, a classically trained cellist, and David, initially a drummer, were two-thirds of the time Kadia, a critically acclaimed trio performing traditional and original folk-influenced music with three-part harmonies. Both musicians are skilled multi-instrumentalists, however, and while their sound is firmly based on Leonardo's cello and David's mandolin alongside their glorious vocal harmonies, the addition of violin and piano expands the soundscape from the former, while the latter also adds drums, guitar and drums Synthesizer. The resulting unique sound is groundbreaking as genre boundaries and labels are crossed and also reflect their musical influences, which are recognized to include The moulettes, Grammy winner Punch brothers and Max Richter, in addition to the traditional songs and melodies of the British Isles.

At the core, The impossible wilderness explores the role of nature, myth and superstition in the modern age, while exploring topics such as mental health, personal well-being and growth, and the impact of humans on the environment offers new perspectives on an often troubled world. As might be expected given the literary connection outlined above, storytelling is celebrated to the fullest, with an abundance of images in thoughtful narrative texts placed in the foreground to discover what it means to be human.

The short, string-led instrumental opening track White Rabbits acts as an amuse-bouche in front of the optimistic melody and close harmony of the first single Hunter & # 39; s Folly with its wonderfully catchy chorus and the skillful tempo changes that initially reflect the sleepy summer reflect heat and then the chase, attacks the senses. The traditional English song Hunting The Hare flipped, here the hares, although hunted, escaped unscathed, and premiered on as an artistic stop-frame video for the song Volksradio here, so graphically represented, remain blissfully ignorant of the fate of the hunter, who turns into a hare, succumbs to a cruel end at the teeth of his own dog.

Melancholy cello and strings can be found in Sleeping Giant, a song that, as an expanded metaphor, addresses the issues of depression and mental health, but could also be understood as an indication of the dangerous state of the environment.

And nobody ever talks about the monster underground

Who breathes into the earth destroys all around

And no one ever speaks of the weight of his grip

When all is said and done

I am finally free

I am finally free

The bright mandolin motif contrasting the text is used as a skillful musical metaphor, indicating the pretext often used to disguise our insecurities. Released as the second single, the accompanying video is the second part of the interlinked trilogy, which can be seen independently but also as a short film.

Caring for the environment defines Breathe Easy, a song that clearly warns of the dangers nature faces due to our poor management.

And the world has ended

The hourglass has cracked

And the vigils are over

We took way too much

Here, too, the pastoral feeling of elements of the music, which is partly suggested by the plucked harp-like figures over idyllic strings, refutes the premonition of the theme. The subject of the end of nature is also addressed later in the album on Chasing Fireflies with his image of a possible dystopian future.

The birds are silent, the trees are alive

They have stood together forever before time

And if you ever get out, you won't be the first

Because the world will be so much worse in a hundred years

The play on words inherent in Phantomfoolery's title obscures another dark, unsettling offering. Icy showers and urgency, be it of a spiritual nature or possibly a ghost in the sense of well-being, suggest the texts and the layers of swirling strings, mandolin, cello and synthesizers, but especially the ghostly singing.

Remedy, a song that emerged from reflections on a car accident, has a different feel to other tracks, starting with a drum beat, building up with mandolin, percussion and vocals before ending with overlaying guitars and strings before the short instrumental interlude of Call to Adventure, inspired by the first stage of the first act in Joseph Cambells Hero's journey. The second act of this mono myth informs A Thousand Faces, another song about mental health, specifically that we can often be our greatest stumbling block.

This mountain on my way

Was built in my head

With its homage to the theory of relativity, "If time is elastic, why can't I go back", Dear Future (if you're listening) is a letter-style plea to the generations that will follow us not to repeat our mistakes. The weaving of short, repetitive melodic phrases from the mandolin and cello to a calm chant creates an ethereal atmosphere before the intensity of the cello increases.

The shadowy strings, which act as the fulcrum for The Unkindness of Ravens, form the background for lyrics that urge one to respect nature, myths, stories and legends in order to gain a better self-confidence and understanding, as that hardly perceptible whispered count evoking an eerie, supernatural world before the album all too soon reaches its final track.

Vespers, the third single, again accompanied by a video with character design and creation by an artist and model maker friend Lou Vickery, is a Stygian, otherworldly waltz. In terms of text, the greeting in the shadow of twilight may once again indicate psychological problems, but in the optimism that also harbors these concerns with the twilight. As on the entire album, the subtlety of the instrumentation is sublime. As the last reverberant whistles die away, I wonder if there is a subtle, possibly ironic, Ennio Morricone Note.

The accompanying artwork and cover notes enrich this very professional package in an admirable way. Beyond the music, there is so much more to admire, be it the fascinating symmetry of the cover photo or, for those interested in the math of nature, the thrill of the numerous references, including Fibonacci sequences and golden sections.

Although a single broadcast will bring great joy, the willingness to invest time in much deeper and more attentive listening will be well worth it. With The impossible wilderness, The last premonitions have proven that they are visionaries.

The remaining tour dates of The Last Inklings

Friday October 1st – Derby Folk Festival
Thursday October 7th – Ashcroft Arts Center, Fareham
Saturday October 9th – West End Center, Aldershot
Friday October 22nd – Manchester Folk Festival
Saturday October 23rd – Thimblemill Library, Smethwick
Wednesday November 17th – The Sound Lounge, Sutton
Friday 19th November – Downend Folk Club, Bristol
Friday 3rd December – Forest Arts Center, Hampshire

Your new Vespers video will premiere tomorrow, September 30th, on Folk Radio.

Pre-order The Impossible Wild (out October 1, 2021) via Bandcamp:

More information and ticket links can be found at:


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