With an approach to storytelling that makes easy bedfellows of polar opposites such as staunch traditionalism and sonic adventure, glacial minimalism and heartbreaking empathy, Mercury nominated band, The Unthanks, make art-folk with a booming socially conscious heart.
Using the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, the influence of Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits can be heard in the band’s ten albums to date. At the nucleus of a constantly evolving unit is the traditional upbringing of Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank and the arrangements and writing of Yorkshireman Adrian McNally. Their commitment to storytelling has earned them a legion of actor and writer fans, plus musicians including Elvis Costello, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Ryan Adams, Rosanne Cash, Glen Hansard and members of Portishead and Radiohead.
Since releasing BBC Folk Awards Album Of The Year, Mount The Air in 2015, The Unthanks have undertaken orchestral journeys, an exploration into the songs and poems of Molly Drake and most recently, a trio of song cycles inspired by poetry called Lines, including a record of Emily Brontë poems turned into song, written and recorded on her original piano.