To celebrate Pride, we’ll be highlighting a different Irish artist from the LGBTQIA+ community each day in June as part of our Pride Profiles series.
By Clare Martin
Listen If You Like
Laura Marling, Lankum, Saint Sister
Who She Is
Dani Larkin’s music is indelibly tied to her relationship with the Irish land, whether you’re listening to “The Red (Maca’s Return),” an examination of humanity’s treatment of the environment through local legend, or her trio of singles ruminating on love that use evocative natural imagery. Her most recent release from the series, “Love Part One,” is spare but triumphant, led by warm acoustic guitar and the rich timbre of Larkin’s voice. The track is all about falling back in love with oneself, and is grounded by how well the Armagh-Monaghan artist sets the scene: tree roots, the moon, the shore, all reminders that we are part of the natural world and worthy of love.
The folk musician is set to release her debut album Notes For A Maiden Warrior on 18th June, but just ahead of that she’s performing the entire record live at the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast as part of the Women’s Work festival. You can get tickets for the virtual event—airing on the 17th of June and free unless you want to donate—here.
Listen to “Love Part One” below and check out her November and December tour dates here.
Folk artist Dani Larkin has just released the music video for her latest single, “The Red (Maca’s Return),” off her debut album Notes For A Maiden Warrior. The song is inspired by Irish myth; specifically, the goddess of war and transformation, Maca, and what it would be like if she returned to walk among us.
The accompanying music video is deceptively simple, following Larkin around a forest where she alternates between singing, laying on the ground, and playing guitar. However, the seemingly idyllic scenes of nature are disturbed by Larkin’s ferocious delivery and the little clouds of steam billowing from her mouth, mirroring the disruptive men in the story who battle the island’s fauna with “guns and arrows galore.”
The music video for “The Red (Maca’s Return)” was directed, filmed, and edited by The Wonder Brothers, Greg Holz and Joey Wonder. You can watch the video below and pre-order Notes For A Maiden Warrior, out 18 June, here. Check out her tour dates in November and December here.
Artist Dani Larkin grew up listening to folktales, but now she’s spinning a story of her own on her latest release, “The Red (Maca’s Return),” the third single off her debut album, Notes For A Maiden Warrior.
The song looks at what might happen if Maca, the Irish goddess of war and transformation, came back, and how examining myths can teach us more about our own relationship with nature. It’s no wonder Larkin chose to sing about Maca—Armagh (Ard Mhaca) is named for Maca, and the singer/songwriter hails from the Armagh-Monaghan border.
“The Red (Maca’s Return)” tells two parallel tales: one of men who adorn their faces with red paint ahead of battle and end up bragging about the wild cats (Maca) they’ve defeated in the fight, and the other of women who serve as the quietly confident warriors of Maca. The men’s inflated egoism perpetuates a needless cycle of violence; they’d do well to listen to the women.
Over the course of the song, Larkin’s voice swings from that of a traditional balladeer to a conspiratorial whisperer. Fervent, moody guitar gains speed during the track, like dark clouds gathering to signal a storm. By the end, she’s joined by a chorus of voices chanting “the red,” mirroring the frenzy of battle.
With her artful sonic storytelling, Larkin once again proves herself a talented songwriter. Listen to “The Red (Maca’s Return)” below and pre-save Notes For A Maiden Warrior, out on 18th June, here. You can also check out her tour dates here.
Folk artist Dani Larkin has finally the release date for her debut album Notes For A Maiden Warrior. The 10 track record will be self-released on 18th June, 2021 and feature some reimagined versions of her previous singles “Samson & Goliath,” “Bloodthirsty,” and “The Mother Within.” The album itself was recorded at Halfbap Studios, Belfast, with George Sloan as co-producer.
So far in her music, Larkin has beautifully melded trad sensibilities with alt-folk production. Her sound resonates deep within, making you want to stare wistfully out at the bog or a dark, stormy sea. Notes For A Maiden Warrior imparts life lessons gleaned from folk tales and other sources, but Larkin doesn’t claim to be any sort of authority. She simply invites us along on her journey as she observes and learns from the world around her.
Along with the album release date, Larkin has also announced a headline Irish tour, playing in Limerick (co-headlining with Joshua Burnside), Galway, Dundalk, West Cork, Cork, Dublin, and a secret show in Belfast this November and December. Tickets will be on sale this Friday, 9th April at 10am.
Check out the tour dates below and pre-save Notes For A Maiden Warrior here.