Mount the Air

Mount the Air

by The Unthanks


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Mount the Air

Mournful, elegant, melancholy, and mysterious, the Northumbrian family act is most certainly not a party band; rather their singular blend of traditional folk and jazz-tinged, Celtic-infused pop is tailor-made for those for whom soft rolls of thunder and deep grey skies are a balm to the cruel tempo of the extroverted life. Fresh off of a trio of excellent, largely conceptual live recordings that found the Unthanks taking on the songs of Antony & the Johnsons and Robert Wyatt, collaborating with the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, and exploring the region's rich tradition of seafaring, the group returns with their first studio effort since 2011's Last. Like its predecessor, Mount the Air is a dark storeroom of soft, piano-led balladry peppered with tasteful flourishes of upright bass, soft brush work, and spectral horns and strings, but it's also a far more ambitious outing, sporting two epic ten-minute pieces that flirt with experimental ambient pop grandeur. The first, an original piece built around the opening verse of the traditional folk ballad "I'll Mount the Air on Swallows Wings," is a rich ballad that builds to a sweeping and surprisingly propulsive string-laden crescendo that's anchored by Becky and Rachel Unthank's expressive voices, while the second, the lush "Foundling," dials up the group's more theatrical leanings. Elsewhere the intriguing and (almost) radio-ready "Flutter" flirts with Portishead-inspired trip-hop, and the band plays it straight on a lovely rendering of the traditional folk standard "The Poor Stranger," but as per usual, it's the Unthanks' acumen for crafting highly refined overcast ballads that ultimately wins out, and some of us are all the better for it.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/17/2015
Label: Rabble Rouser Recs
UPC: 0844493092698
catalogNumber: 13
Rank: 62424

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Unthanks   Primary Artist
Chris Price   Guitar,Electric Bass
Rachel Unthank   Vocals
Tom Arthurs   Trumpet
Becky Unthank   Vocals
Niopha Keegan   Fiddle,Vocals,Soloist
Kathleen Ord   Violin
Nick Byrne   Cello
Esther Swift   Harp
Dan Rogers   Double Bass
Chris Price   Guitar,Piano,Electric Bass
Adrian McNally   Percussion,Piano,Celeste,Glockenspiel,Vocals,Kalimba,fender rhodes,Indian Harmonium
Lizzie Jones   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Becca Spencer   Viola
Gabriel Waite   Cello
James Boyle   Violin
Martin Douglas   Percussion,Drums
Eilidh Gillespie   Flute
Gabriel Wait   Cello

Technical Credits

Steve Wainwright   Sleeve Design
Chris Price   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Rachel Unthank   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist
Becky Unthank   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist
Niopha Keegan   Arranger,Composer
Charles Causley   Composer
Dave Dodds   Composer
Chris Price   Composer
Adrian McNally   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer
Natalie Reid   Artwork

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