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LANKS: Alternative Electronic Meets Traditional Storytelling
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LANKS: Alternative Electronic Meets Traditional Storytelling

Picture of Christiane Barro
Updated: 12 January 2017
Lanks’ Will Cuming is a traditional storyteller working within the framework of electronic music. Art runs in his family: his grandmother, a visual artist and sculptor; his father, absorbed in painting and drawing; and his sister and cousin, both musicians. As Cuming put it, “it was a matter of finding which medium suited me.”

Cultivated by the creativity and artistry of his family, Will ultimately discovered singing to be “an incredibly expressive instrument” through which to emotionally connect with listeners and “make them feel a little less lonely.” While they gave him large amounts of support and encouragement, Will’s family nonetheless told him that “iff you’re going to do it, do it well.”

In July, Will, now 25, released his EP, Banquet, and he was named Triple J Unearthed Artist of the Week following heavy support for the featured tracks, ‘Hold Me Closer,’ ‘Aurelia,’ and ‘Settle Down.’

Growing up with the sounds of The Beatles and musician Brian Eno, Will had a desire to experiment with pop music that has very much evolved through his love for orchestral and cinematic music. He studied improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts, in a course which linked the jazz paradigm of improvisation and music creation.

“I can connect with someone on the other side of the world through this recording, which is just amazing in itself,” he says.

From playing the flute at 11 years of age during a primary school musical performance to selling out his final show for the Banquet east coast tour, Will has progressed tremendously in terms of solidifying his artistry. With a range of different layers and textural ideas to his music, Will strives to challenge listeners through his unique fusion of instruments: the flute, drums, grungy guitar, and seamless vocals.

Among Will’s most pivotal moments was his first vocal performance, a couple of years ago at a festival called Inca Roads. Singing live for the first time in front of a few hundred people, was “a real rush, honestly,” he says. “There’s something about playing with your friends that’s just really nice, but then there’s something else about playing in front of an audience that they take you to another level. They push you to go there because of their energy, you’re just feeding off it, and you can tell they want you to surprise them and do something exciting.”

After working with engineer and producer Andrei Eremin – who mixed and mastered Banquet – and touring with Andy Bull earlier this year, Will experienced the significant impact of meeting such “amazing people” in the music industry. Feeding off their wisdom, advice, and encouragement, Will learned that “as long as you keep your ear to the ground and keep your mind open, you have those opportunities to ask people questions and to learn.”

Lanks tours this October as supporting act for Airling’s Stallin’ Tour. Afterward, Lanks will head back into the studio to compose new material for release early next year.