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ALBUM REVIEW: The Unthanks

Courtesy Rough Trade

You could take tracks from The Unthanks new album, Last, to score a film and it could quite possibly bring tears to your eyes. Mostly because when you’re listening to the album alone, it is painfully slow and depressing – like a good drama that receives critical acclaim but you just want them to throw in one small explosion to keep your attention. Or even a small car fire!

The album is actually quite good, especially once I realized that sisters, Rachel and Becky Unthank were not actually drunk, but rather speaking in dialect. Melancholy pianos trudge along with harrowing vocals and sparse, straightforward percussion. This makes up the bulk of the album, but beautiful string additions and a dash of synthesizers scattered throughout the record pop up as well. The track "Canny Hobbie Elliot" stirs things up a bit, shifting from the vibe of slowly turning heads with downcast eyes to toddling along a melody that would fit in among the Hobbits back in Middle Earth (or ‘English Folk Music’ if you haven’t seen the Lord of the Rings.)

If you're looking for something to perk your day up, or something that you can sing along to and feel invigorated by, then this is not the album for you. However if you’re looking for a record to encourage your self absorbed brooding in a large antique chair, then pour yourself a brass goblet of port, throw a couple logs in the fireplace, turn down the lights, and seep away into Last. (Rough Trade)