Having tried out new technology and techniques in residency at Lighthouse as part of the SANCTUARY artist development scheme, folk group The Last Inklings are thrilled to be launching their debut album The Impossible Wild on Thursday 30 September 2021 at Poole’s centre for the arts. The Impossible Wild explores the role of nature, myth and superstition in the modern world in a celebration of storytelling that uses symphonic arrangements and narrative lyrics to conjure 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 the duo – David Hoyland and Leonardo MacKenzie.

“In many ways, these old stories have lost their meaning in society and have been replaced by consumer narratives in TV and film.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 recognising and rebalancing our place in the world. “All stories have power, but the stories we tell about ourselves have the most.”

The album release marks the culmination of a hugely creative response to the pandemic that saw David and Leonardo face the challenge of having to stand out in an online landscape that was saturated with performers looking for ways to reach their audiences – they taught themselves how to make stop-frame animation!

Their recent film Sleeping Giant is the second in a trilogy of videos to mark the release of The Impossible Wild with the final video, Vespers, to follow on 1 October. The first, Hunter’s Folly, was released on 1 June and was premiered by national folk music magazine Folk Radio UK, who noted the band’s “exceptional vocal harmonies”.

Tapping into the themes of nature and the supernatural that weave through many of the songs on the new album they contain references to specific locations in the Dorset landscape. “Hunter’s Folly” and “Sleeping Giant” both feature Colmer’s Hill near Bridport, and the river scenes of ‘Sleeping Giant’ are inspired by the River Stour at Longham with its willow trees, irises, otters and kingfishers. Several of the songs on the album are inspired by Dorset’s landscape and folklore, including the track “The Unkindess of Ravens” that imagines a local legend surrounding the famous beech avenue at Badbury Rings.

The Last Inklings are very environmentally conscious, with several songs on the album referencing this theme, and this has filtered through to the packaging of the album. The CD will be packaged in a cardboard four-page digipack with no plastic shrink-wrap. The band has chosen a UK-based company that makes cardboard digipacks from 70-90% recycled board, with the rest of the material certified “durable management” by the FSC and PEFC.

The Last Inklings

What’s more, in order to share a taste of The Impossible Wild the band is hand-packing small envelopes of native wildflower seeds in compostable envelopes to be sent out as gifts with pre-ordered CDs as a personal thank you. CD pre-orders will also be packed in compostable envelopes, not plastic-lined traditional Jiffy bags.

David and Leonardo have accomplished multi-instrumentalists both having earned their spurs in acclaimed folk group Kadia whose 2015 debut East of Alexandria featured in the Daily Telegraph’s Top Folk Albums.

David began his musical career as a percussionist playing drums in jazz, blues, and rock bands and now also runs Impossible Audio, a studio offering mixing, mastering and composition for film, TV and video games soundtracks. Leonardo is a classically trained cellist with 15 years of live session work with producers including Mark Tucker (Portishead, Jethro Tull, Show Of Hands, Fairport Convention); and musicians such as fellow Dorset-based duo Ninebarrow and John Parker (Nizlopi, Ward Parker).