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The Unthanks - Mount the air | FESTIVALPHOTO

The Unthanks - Mount the air



It's been four years since The Unthanks last released a studio album of all new material. Since then they've released a live album of cover versions, an album with the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band that featured songs from previous Unthanks albums, and "Songs from the shipyards" - a soundtrack album of covers. So with all those releases fans haven't been left empty handed, but I'm quite sure the prospect of a proper studio album has many excited.

I hesitate to call this album Folk since it takes elements from so many diverse styles of music that folk seems a bit restrictive as a description. Yes there is a large folk element to the music, but whatever you choose to call it, it's beautiful music.

Brief comments on a few tracks....

The album opens with title track "Mount the air". Gentle strings and a beautiful piece of trumpet playing get the song off to a great start, and things just keep getting better once you bring in the excellent vocals. The vocals are used quite sparingly here with the verses separated by long instrumental passages, largely from the trumpet but also from the strings. It's a long song at over ten minutes duration, but that length allows those excellent instrumental sections to be long enough to really impress. A superb start to the album. Check out the video here -

With it's piano and lovely vocals, "Madam" is a great slow, soft atmospheric track

"Foundling" is another long track, almost eleven minutes long, and is another excellent piece of music. With many bands after a song passes a certain duration it starts to drag, but that is something that simply doesnt happen with The Unthanks - the songs never seem too long - in fact they seem to thrive on the extra time and there's always something happening to keep interest and enjoyment levels high.

It's a superb album that I have no hesitation in recommending.

"Mount the air" will be released on 9th February 2015

Track listing:

1. Mount the air
2. Madam
3. Died for love
4. Flutter
5. Magpie
6. Foundling
7. Last lullaby
8. Hawthorn
9. For dad
10. The poor stranger
11. Waiting

Writer: Anthony May
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