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Last
     

Last

by The Unthanks
 

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The second album from the Unthanks (third if you include the early effort they recorded with a different lineup as Rachel Unthank & the Winterset), Last is a striking fusion of British folk music with austere, arty pop, featuring adventurous arrangements and dynamics that recall acts

Overview

The second album from the Unthanks (third if you include the early effort they recorded with a different lineup as Rachel Unthank & the Winterset), Last is a striking fusion of British folk music with austere, arty pop, featuring adventurous arrangements and dynamics that recall acts like Tindersticks, Sufjan Stevens, and American Music Club. The vocals by Rachel Unthank and her sister Becky Unthank are beautiful and executed with an impressive skill and unaffected emotional force, and the spare but powerful arrangements, usually built around piano and a small string section, give this music a subtle majesty, dramatically forceful without grandstanding. The group has gathered a diverse range of material for these sessions, including traditional British folk numbers, songs by contemporary songwriters ranging from Jon Redfern to Tom Waits, and even a cover of King Crimson's "Starless," but the Unthanks manage to make all of it sound like their own work, transforming these ten songs into a seamless whole as the often dour tones of the tunes cohere into something dark yet strangely gorgeous. With the measured tempos, subtle musical backings, and ethereal vocals by the Unthank sisters, Last suggests British folk's answer to Low's Secret Name, but just as on that fine album, this is music that doesn't wallow in sadness or troubled moods for its own sake, but as an exploration of how the tragic often carries the same weight as the joyous in the human heart. Last is not the sort of music you'll want to play at a party on a Friday night, but if you're looking for the proper accompaniment as you ponder life's twists and turns on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the Unthanks will give you all the deeply shaded wisdom you could use.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/19/2011
Label:
Rough Trade Us
UPC:
0883870061728
catalogNumber:
617

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Unthanks   Primary Artist
Julian Sutton   Melodeon
Rachel Unthank   Vocals,Kalimba,Group Member
Becky Unthank   Vocals,Group Member
Niopha Keegan   Violin,Vocals,Group Member
Jo Silverston   Cello
Ros Stephen   Violin
Dean Ravera   Double Bass
Alex Neilson   Drums
Chris Price   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Ukulele,Group Member
Adrian McNally   Piano,Drums,Vocals,Dulcitone,Group Member
Lizzie Jones   Trumpet
Becca Spencer   Viola

Technical Credits

Tom Waits   Composer
John Wetton   Composer
Kathleen Brennan   Composer
Richard Palmer-James   Composer
Steve Wainwright   Artwork
Alex Glasgow   Composer
Winslow Homer   Cover Illustration
Traditional   Composer
Rachel Unthank   Arranger,Liner Notes
Becky Unthank   Arranger,Liner Notes
Niopha Keegan   Arranger,String Arrangements,String Section
Jo Silverston   String Section
Unthanks   Arranger
Joe Wilson   Composer,Lyricist
Ros Stephen   String Section
Jon Redfern   Composer
Chris Price   Arranger
Adrian McNally   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,String Arrangements
Thom Lewis   Engineer
Sally Grey   Composer
Becca Spencer   String Section

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