Gig Seeker Pro


New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017

New York City, New York, United States
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Folk Roots




"The Year’s Best Traditional Album"

"mammifères earns its honors for taking the sonic remix to the next level fully realized, and for the sheer potency of the collection fully de- and reconstructed: a collage of sound with an experimental polish, punctuated by all the blips and wailing electronica that buries and drags these songs into the vastness of the variable world. Aa a full-length debut, Olema claims to channel its tradition through a particular place in California, and apparently, that place is a chaotic, organic stew, a pastiche of sound. We described lead vocalist and bandleader Lukas Papenfusscline’s previous placement in our Year’s Best back in 2016, as a “hallucinogenic field recording from the road”, but Olema is eminently more jarring and realized, with Jazz and jamband elements and a terrifying tone transforming the songs of our centuries into the rantings of madmen. Essential, in all meanings of the word; a divine, disquieting artifact of the folkways. Lomax would be proud." - Cover Lay Down


man&woman;you (2016)
figure&ground sessions: mammifères (2018)
"I Kissed Jeff Sessions (& I Liked It)" single (2018)
Olema (2018)



New York City-based band mammifères rekindles and recomposes ancient music from across the world into postmodern folk. Led by Lukas Papenfusscline, the band tangles roots music with new harmonies and adapted stories, at times both irreverent and deeply endebted our musical heritage. Disarranging structure and finding inspiration in ethnic chaos leads the band to a primeval energy that travels fast and wide, hiking across musical landscapes. 

These urban mammals create a dadaist mess by crafting new tunes based on field recordings, manuscripts, and learned songs from years past, refurbishing them with the musical languages of the future. Equally comfortable playing American folk as medieval chant, the group pulls from improvisation, noise, jazz, queer culture, and contemporary performance to create their unique and sensitive sound. 

Their forthcoming album, Olema, is an ode to the natural beauty of the landscape and its complex human history, inspired by the Pt. Reyes Peninsula off the California coast where Papenfusscline was raised: “Old songs are made anonymous when they’re sung millions of times,” says Lukas. “Singing them is like hiking: you’re being thrown into a world of history, of otherness, of nature, a place you feel you don’t belong but absolutely do. Olema for me is about human interaction with wildness—it’s benefits and destructions.” 

mammifères, which means “mammals” in French, is Steve Conroy on bass, Aiden Farrell on drums, Henry Ott on guitar, and frequently features guests on saxophone, keyboard, violin, and clarinet. “We learn the tune as it stands, a melody and some pretty words from another era. Then we work with harmony, finding fresh chords that can interact with the melody in a new way, and with more color than a 1-4-5-1 structure ever could. I make changes as they come and let the arrangements develop organically with the band.” Still, though, the band is constantly changing the arrangements: “We’re improvisers and hate to set the arrangement too concretely. Each time we play it’s a very different song, never the same twice. It has to be dependent on the moment rather than the chart.”

Band Members