The Unthanks – Mount the Air

Album Review by Thomas Ingham | 09 Feb 2015
  • The Unthanks – Mount The Air
Album title: Mount the Air
Artist: The Unthanks
Label: Cadiz Music
Release date: 9 Feb

The much extolled olde-worlde storytelling of The Unthanks has won them an impressive array of famous admirers, everyone from Ryan Adams to Dawn French – can it get any more diverse? Mount the Air is the Geordies' first release in four years, and the self-titled debut single has been a pleasant, if not slightly misleading reintroduction to their charms. While the radio edit represents a fraction of the ten-and-a-half minute epic that kicks off the record, they both share the swelling and soaring arrangements of Adrian McNall, who manages to merge folk with the unease and medieval European gloom of recent records like Last Ex and the infamous In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

The sisters voices are often gossamer-like but combine into a choral anthem as this records swings and sways its way through their whimsical and charming tales, Madam being a particular highlight – very Northern. Folky, proggy, quiet and loud. It’s a joy to have The Unthanks back. 

Playing Leeds Irish Centre on 10 Mar; Manchester Ritz on 11 Mar and Edinburgh Queen's Hall on 20 Mar