At this point in their almost 20 years together, it's easy to imagine that The Unthanks must surely have done a seasonal winter album already, but no! Known for their genre blurring creativity, The Unthanks premiere their dream-like winter fantasia - embracing both the dark and the light in the most ritualistic of seasons - moving in and out of focus - like a memory - a hymnal to our shared winter experience. Echoes of winter tunes known throughout the western world, mix with the traditional and the newly written, all passed with great care and love through The Unthanks filter.
The Unthanks have been described as “a take on tradition that flips so effortlessly between jazz, classical, ambient and post-rock, it makes any attempt to put a label on them a waste of time”.
Using the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, the influence of Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits makes The Unthanks a unique band, earning them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and international acclaim along the way.
The Unthanks tells stories that capture children. They make music cutting edge enough to be BBC 6Music regulars. They can equally be found on Radios 2, 3 and 4, reframing history and drawing together the worlds of folk, jazz, orchestral, electronic and rock music. The believability of their storytelling is admired by some of our best storytellers - Mackenzie Crook, Elvis Costello, Maxine Peake, Nick Hornby, Martin Freeman, Robert Wyatt, Charles Hazelwood, Ben Myers and David Mitchell, to name a few.
At the nucleus of a constantly evolving unit is the traditional upbringing of Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank and the arrangements and writing of composer, pianist, producer and Yorkshireman, Adrian McNally.
“Few of their contemporaries, within both folk music and the wider artistic spectrum, have such a keenly-honed ability to locate in a song the emotional essence that can, in just a single phrase or vocal elision, cut one to the quick.” - The Independent
“The Unthanks have covered a lot of ground in the past decade and watching them evolve over this period has been truly inspiring.” - Phillip Selway (Radiohead)