courtesy of the artist
The Unthanks. courtesy of the artist
"Because He Was A Bonny Lad"
Sisters Becky and Rachel Unthank play harmony-drenched, undeniably charming folk music. The pair's knack for gorgeously embroidered storytelling began when Becky was only 17, a time when both were unsure of their musical prospects. Only a year after their debut performance in 2004, and with the help of a backing band, the two released their debut album, Cruel Sister, which won Folk Album of the Year from Mojo magazine. They followed it with The Bairns, and were nominated for several awards, including the 2008 Mercury Music Prize and three BBC Folk Awards.
In spite of these immediate and outstanding accomplishments, the group still considered The Bairns excessively stripped-down and bleak, and hoped to move into more exciting and creative musical territory. After the addition of Chris Price on guitar, bass, ukulele and dulcitone; Niopha Keegan on violin, accordion and mandolin; and Adrian McNally on piano, drums and percussion, the group cemented its lineup. With a newfound sense of inspiration and vigor, the sisters have released their third album, Here's the Tender Coming. The record's mix of traditional folk songs and modern arrangements set it apart from The Unthanks' previous works, as do its warm vocals.