The Unthanks: Last
Folk is an often overlooked and sometimes ridiculed genre of music, especially for today's modern world, but when a band like The Unthanks comes around, people have to think twice.
Sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, along with their band consisting of ukulele, fiddle, piano, drums, guitar, bass, and dulcitone, make the traditional, original.
Forging links between old and new folk, theirs is storytelling music, from the unlikely book of these fresh new faces.
Off the back of a sparkling Jools Holland performance, and Mercury Prize nomination, The Unthanks have produced “Last”, a dream sequence of songs, often epic, often subdued.
A distinctly more sombre sound for The Unthanks appears on this album, even in opener “Gan To The Kye”, there are lingering piano chords and wailing violins.
They are instantly recognisable from their singing style, a delightful twang produced from the sisters.
“Queen Of Hearts” is like lullaby from a nightmare, (in the best way possible) spine-chilling and haunting, whilst “My Laddie Sits Ower Late Up” is more traditional, proving they can still stick to their roots.
“Canny Hobbie Elliot” opens with charming harmonies, and a sweet sincere melody. In a way this music is “cute” to the people who aren’t already folk lovers, easy to listen to, and even easier to fall in love with. Fiddles pepper most of this song, and make it sound like a nursery rhyme.
“No One Knows I’m Gone” has a more spiritual feel, with wailing choruses and an Evanescene-esque movement.
All in all, “Last” is a game-changer for Folk, and for The Unthanks as a band. I for one, am converted.
*Out 14th March*