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Friday, 23rd June 2017
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The Unthanks: Mount The Air

Mount the AirWhen The Unthanks released their last album in 2011, Uncut wrote that "The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded Jazz, as a platform for exploring the wider possibilities."

Whether that's a good thing or not depends on your sensibilities, but the band seem keen to press the point.  Mount The Air, title track of their latest release goes on for ten minutes, complete with orchestra and breathy vocals, before leading into Madam with no discernible difference. A disappointing version of  Died for Love follows.

All is not lost though.  Magpie is dark and atmospheric with brilliant spine tingling vocals from Becky and Rachel and a background drone courtesy of Niopha Keegan.  But then it's back to The Halle.

A nice piece, For Dad, penned by Keegan as a tribute to her late father Patrick is a little different, in that is features spoken words from the man himself at the beginning and end.  Touching stuff.

As a late night aid to seduction after a bottle of vino collapso, Mount The Air may have its uses and the media luvvies have already wanked themselves into a coma over it.  But traditional folkies, are unlikely to be converted.

“We're not sure about them,” said one local club organiser, after The Unthanks had been televised in a Christmas special a few years ago.   He'll still be scratching his head.

- Heather Dunn


The Unthanks

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