Lunatraktors rework traditional music with influences from post-punk, trip-hop and queer cabaret.

The ‘broken folk’ duo from Margate strip folk down to its bare bones to raise the spirits, mixing tonal percussion, tap-dance and harmonic singing with whistles, drones and analogue synth.

“A sparse, bravely original style.” Robin Denselow, Songlines ★★★★

Lunatraktors are choreographer and percussionist Carli Jefferson (she/her), and vocalist and researcher Clair Le Couteur (they/them). They began in 2017 with the post-apocalyptic question: what’s left when we’ve lost everything? Stripping folk song down to bare bones, Lunatraktors’ ‘broken folk’ blends Le Couteur’s self-taught overtones and four-octave range with a hybrid of tap dance, flamenco and body percussion, which Jefferson developed after touring with STOMP (2001-2004).

The pair turned heads when their percussion-and-vocals debut This Is Broken Folk made MOJO’s Top Ten Folk Albums of 2019, and again when second studio album The Missing Star reached MOJO’s #2 in 2021.

Jefferson’s compulsion to dance while drumming prompted Lunatraktors to assemble a tonal percussion kit, combining rhythm and melody. Added resonances come from Le Couteur’s free-reeds, whistles and analogue synths. Reimagining British folk through a shared love of drum’n’bass, triphop, art rock and post-punk, Lunatraktors have gathered passionate fans at festivals, galleries, museums, theatres and queer cabarets.

Lunatraktors are unsigned and DIY. They received the British Music Collection LGBTQ+ Composer Award 2021 and George Butterworth Award 2022. Recent collaborations include The Hoard (Maidstone Museum), the British Museum Solstice Late, and Beyond the Binary (University of Kent Special Collections).

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The Box @ The Met
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