The Unthanks On World Cafe : World Cafe Neo-folk sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank are revered in their native England and count Radiohead and Portishead among their fans. The siblings bring their new group to the WXPN studios to play live versions of songs from their new album, Here's the Tender Coming.
NPR logo

The Unthanks On World Cafe

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129386119/129386118" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The Unthanks On World Cafe

The Unthanks On World Cafe

The Unthanks On World Cafe

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129386119/129386118" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Web Extra: A Cover Of Robert Wyatt's 'Sea Song'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/129386119/129422955" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Set List

  • "Here's The Tender Coming"
  • "Lucky Gilchrist"
  • "The Testimony Of Patience Kershaw"

Rachel Unthank and her band recently stopped by the World Cafe studios. courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption
courtesy of the artist

Rachel Unthank and her band recently stopped by the World Cafe studios.

courtesy of the artist

English folk group The Unthanks, formerly known as Rachel Unthank and The Winterset, has been leading the neo-folk renaissance since its acclaimed debut in 2005. The band's third album, Here's the Tender Coming, was released in 2009 to similar praise.

Led by namesake sisters Rachel and Becky, the quintet mixes classic folk with lush instrumentation — and sometimes morbid, thought-provoking lyricism. With many awards to their belt — 2005's Cruel Sister was awarded folk album of the year by the British music magazine Mojo — the Unthank sisters are as dedicated to creating dreamy backings as they are to playing traditional folk. It's no surprise that the group counts among its fans Radiohead, Robert Wyatt and Portishead.

Here, Rachel and Becky Unthank play live songs from Here's the Tender Coming and discuss what it's like to be hated on by "the folk police." Accompanying the Unthank sisters in the studio on this visit are Niopha Keegan on fiddle, Jo Silverstein on cello, Rachel's husband Adrian McNally on piano, Chris Price on guitar and bass, and Dean Ravera on drums and double bass.

Purchase Featured Music

Buy Featured Music

Album
Here's the Tender Coming
Artist
The Unthanks
Label
Rough Trade/Beggars
Released
2009

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?