ØXN are a new band recently announced to have formed.
ØXN is the name of the experimental doom folk project from the foursome of Radie Peat (Lankum), Katie Kim, Eleanor Myler (Percolator) and John ‘Spud’ Murphy (Percolator and producer with Lankum, Black Midi, Katie Kim, Junior Brother among others).
The band’s first single ‘Love Henry’, and a video, is released on Claddagh Records today, and showcases a sound parallel to the dark drone edge of Lankum not too dissimilar to ‘Go Dig My Grave’.
The video was directed & produced by Katie Kim & Thom McDermott.
The band are also the first signing to the Irish label Claddagh Records in 18 years, which has relaunched with a new store following the signing of a worldwide licensing agreement with Universal Music Ireland. More on the label’s history and plan below.
The experimental doom folk music of ØXN [pron. ‘oxen’] is rooted in story; Radie Peat, John ‘Spud’ Murphy, Katie Kim and Eleanor Myler dig deep into the earth and retrieve evocative tales of love, loss, longing, revenge and ritual. Add to that the other-worldly sonic textures that beckon you to peer behind the curtain, with your heart in your mouth, and you might get close to anticipating the music that ØXN has created.
It is fitting that a band with such a peerless sound, existing somewhere between the traditional, the future and the eternal, should be the first new signing to Ireland’s most iconic label, Claddagh Records, in 18 years.
‘Love Henry’ sees ØXN tell this murderous tale with a building sense of dread that will immerse listeners in the band’s world of dissonance and experimentation with the harmonious vocal melodies melding with accordion, mellotron, keyboard, drums, bass and synthesizers. Though the story of Henry Lee’s demise at the hands of his spurned lover has long since fascinated musicians from Bob Dylan to Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, it has never been woven with more tension than in this new and devastating version of ‘Love Henry’, arranged by the four members of ØXN.
ØXN exist at the uncharted intersection of its constituent parts, melding Lankum’s experimental doom folk (Radie Peat), the motorik euphoria of Percolator (John ‘Spud’ Murphy and Eleanor Myler) and Katie Kim’s glorious Lynchian meta-verse.
Try to imagine the missing link between Enya, Ennio Morricone, Richard Dawson and Neu! and you’ll still fall short trying to anticipate the unique sonic universe of ØXN.
What began as a side project duo between Radie Peat and Katie Kim in 2018 blossomed into a full-on, multi-textured tapestry with the addition of Myler and Murphy during lockdown. This resulted in one of the streaming highlights of the Covid era – an unforgettable live performance from a Martello tower in Dublin in conjunction with visual artist and Lankum collaborator, Vicky Langan.
ØXN take their literal name from the draft animal. Oxen are not a breed of cattle but rather steers – adult, male bovines that have been castrated. Something about the story of the beasts appealed to the band: Castrated, pulling heavy machinery; out to slog, or an interred beast for milking, since about 4000 BC. Sometimes worshipped, sometimes doomed for domestication.
Connect with ØXN
About Claddagh Records
Founded by the late Garech Browne, an heir to the Guinness empire, in 1959, Claddagh Records, one of Ireland’s oldest record labels, was established to protect Ireland’s musical heritage. Specialising in Irish traditional music, poetry and spoken word, Claddagh still to this day captures the sounds of a rich tradition and brings it to international audiences.
Claddagh’s catalogue includes ten albums released the by The Chieftains (including their first six); Seán Ó Riada, best-known as composer of the orchestral score for the documentary on the struggle for independence, Mise Éire; uilleann pipers Liam O’Flynn and Séamus Ennis, fiddler Tommy Potts and singer Dolly McMahon.
Claddagh Records has recorded many of the leading Irish poets including Patrick Kavanagh, Austin Clarke, John Montague and Seamus Heaney and spoken word recordings extend to Scottish poets, among them Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean and George MacKay Browne.
Over the last 18 months, a full inventory of the Claddagh Records archive, including over 60 boxes of material stored in the Bank of Ireland vaults for several decades, has been completed. Over 300 historic recordings, some of which have never been released, have been fully catalogued and will now be re-mastered and digitised to ensure their preservation. These recordings will be made available both nationally and internationally to those interested in Ireland’s cultural history.
In addition to this, new recordings and releases are currently being scheduled with the record label, including special releases from exciting new folk artists, for the first time in almost twenty years. claddaghrecords.com // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook