The Last Inklings

Friday 19th August 2022 & #PVFF21

“It’s hard to believe there will be a better debut album this year” – Folk Radio UK

“Beguiling…exquisitely crafted and endlessly inventive” – Morning Star

The Last Inklings are Leonardo MacKenzie and David Hoyland, accomplished multi-instrumentalists with a solid folk background. The band’s innovative sound crosses genres, centred around cello, mandolin and vocal harmony, layered with guitar, piano, strings, synths and percussion. With vibrant backstories and creative musicianship, their songs have a modern flavour that is rich with imagery and narrative, exploring at their core what it is to be human. 

Their name is a nod to the mid 20th century literary group which included Tolkein and CS Lewis, although their inspiration is drawn from wider sources than just these authors, ranging from Carl Jung to Terry Pratchett. Thoughtful depth is handled with a light touch, balanced with playfulness, metaphor and humour. Musically their influences are equally diverse, including artists such as Moulettes, Punch Brothers, and the cinematic soundscapes of composers like Max Richter to the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles.

As former members of the trio Kadia they performed a mix of traditional and original folk inspired songs combining cello, fingerstyle guitar, and mandolin with three part harmony to create rich and uplifting music interspersed with history and storytelling. They released their debut album East of Alexandria in 2015 which made the Telegraph Top Folk Albums and was nominated for the Debut Album of the Year by Fatea Magazine. The follow up, The Outlandish Collection, was a 5 track EP of newly arranged traditional folk songs that further cemented their standing on the traditional circuit. Kadia’s live shows won them many plaudits including being invited to join the Brian McNeill Session on Stage 2 at Cambridge Folk Festival alongside Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys, La Vent du Nord and Wildwood Kin.

Leonardo MacKenzie is a classically trained cellist with an early music background. Awarded a music scholarship at Bournemouth University he now teaches cello, piano, violin and ABRSM Grade 8 music theory. He has 15 years of live session work and recording experience and has worked with studios across the country for a number of acoustic and folk artists with producers including Mark Tucker (Portishead, Jethro Tull, Show of Hands, Fairport Convention). He regularly works live and in the studio with Dorset folk duo Ninebarrow (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominees) alongside Evan Carson (Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys, The Willows) and John Parker (Nizlopi, Ward Parker).

David Hoyland began his musical career as a percussionist, playing drums in jazz, blues and rock bands. Picking up the guitar alongside this he developed a keen interest in other stringed instruments including the ukulele, mandolin and violin. With a largely grass roots musical education and experience of songwriting and live performance, he now also runs Impossible Audio, a studio offering mixing and mastering services as well as media composition for film, TV and video game soundtracks. 

The Last Inklings released their debut album The Impossible Wild in October 2021, following the release of their EP Alchemy in April 2020. It received the Fatea Magazine 2021 Debut Album of the Year Award.

“Just beautiful” – BBC Introducing

“Classy and classic” – At The Barrier

“Exceptional vocal harmonies” – Folk Radio UK

“Very nice indeed” – BBC Radio Scotland

“Captivating” – Fatea Magazine

“An important addition to the folk circuit” – Shire Folk

“Fascinating … There is nothing around that sounds quite like these guys” –