'Last', the third album from the North-Easts best loved folk revivalists was made predominantly at the snowed-under Northumberland farmhouse that is home of Rachel and Adrian.
Having made the highly successful 'Here's The Tender Coming' in a studio, the return to home recording might have signaled a move back to the intimacy of their earlier work, but in practice, 'Last' takes on the epic hallmarks of a masterpiece, in terms of the scale and atmosphere of the setting. Known for their timeless, unsentimental and quietly subversive tales of loss, fear, booze, brawels, abuse and sorrow, siblings Rachel and Becky Unthank are honest, young storytellers outside of time, forging links between folk worlds old, new and other.
It's hard to imagine a British folk band with fans like Radiohead, Portishead, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Damon Albarn, Ewan McGregor and Nick Hornby, but The Unthanks occupy a unique place in music. Influenced as much by the minimalist eccentricity of Steve Reich, Antony & The Johnsons, Robert Wyatt and Miles Davis, as they are by their Geordie native North East England, back home The Unthanks have established themselves as the most innovative and critically acclaimed folk band in modern history.
Martha Tilston - Live In Session On Sideways Through Sound
Martha Tilston is back in Australia for the second time, this time not with her band The Woods but with her new family and a spellbinding new album 'Lucy & The Wolves'.
Martha is a captivating performer, an enchanting writer blessed with a gloriously clear and seductive voice. Throughout 'Lucy & The Wolves', Martha expresses herself in her trademark, endearingly direct, poetic manner, putting forward her philosophy of life, and examining relationships in an accessible, universal way.
The songs are exquisitely set, the musicianship is faultless: a mesh of violins, viola, cello, double bass and, unusually. trombone. Martha's stepmum, Maggie Boyle, adds flute/harmonies to 'Wild Swimming'; 'Searching For Lambs' was recorded in a Somerset wood with help from only a few neighboring crows.
Radio Playlist 20th April 2011
Alela Diane - Of Many Colours (Wild Divine)
Anabelle Kay - Mountain Meets The Snow (S/T)
The Unthanks - Queen Of Hearts (Last)
The Gardenelles - Take My Hand (The Wake Of The Parsley Tree)
Headless Heroes - Blues Run The Game (The Silence Of Love)
The Unthanks - No One Knows I'm Gone (Last)
Martha Tilston - Winter Flowers (Of Milkmaids & Architects)
Martha Tilston - The Chair (Live In Session On Sideways Through Sound)
Martha Tilston - The Cape (Lucy & The Wolves)
Martha Tilston - Old Tom Cat (Live In Session On Sideways Through Sound)
Steve Tilston - It's Not My Place To Fall (An Acoustic Confusion)
Lal & Mike Waterson - Red Wine & Promises (Bright Phoebus)
The Unthanks - Gan To The Kye (Last)
Mary Hampton - Silver Dagger (Book One: Six Songs Of Refusal)
The Paradise Motel - The Exiles (I Still Hear Your Voice At Night)
The Unthanks - Last (Last)