Lunatraktors are choreographer and percussionist Carli Jefferson, and nonbinary vocalist and composer Clair Le Couteur. Influenced by flamenco, post-punk and trip hop, their’ 'broken folk' sound strips trad folk back to rhythm and voice. The pair turned heads in 2019 when their DIY debut This Is Broken Folk – recorded live in a viaduct arch by Ramsgate harbour – made it onto MOJO Magazine's Top Ten Folk Albums. New releases blend analogue synth, whistles, accordion with tuned drums, vocal harmonies and a hybrid of tap dance and body percussion, which Jefferson developed after touring with Stomp.

Reimagining British folk through a shared teenage absorption in dance music and art rock, Lunatraktors have built up a passionate fanbase through performances at festivals, art galleries, museums, theatres and queer cabarets. Jefferson’s compulsion to dance while drumming prompted Lunatraktors to put together a tonal percussion kit, providing both rhythmic and melodic elements to their sound. A double act in the old fashioned sense, Le Couteur’s channeling voices of multiple tragi-comic characters matches Jefferson’s hyper-expressive performance style.

Since their debut performance in 2017, Lunatraktors have created over 200 shows, commissions and lectures for a huge range of arts spaces, music venues and festivals across the UK, Europe and America. These include the Aldeburgh Festival, the V&A Museum, the Turner Prize opening weekend, Ramsgate Festival of Sound, Margate Pride, Folkestone Museum, Goldsmiths, Royal College of Art, TEDx, JW3 Jewish Cultural Centre, Smugglers Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week and more. Recent commissions include contemporary folk songs commemorating Britain’s earliest female saint for Folkestone Museum, and exploring a Roman ‘Lar’ statuette for Guildhall Museum.


Peter Campbell Saunders

United Kingdom