The Unthanks “Diversions Vol.5 Live & Unaccompanied” (RabbleRouser, 2020)

The Unthank sisters – Rachel and Becky – have become a significant presence on the English folk scene over the last fifteen years releasing albums in various band combinations; their latest release in the ‘Diversions’ series sees them temporarily drop their band and put together a series of live recordings with only the addition of Niopha Keegan as a third harmonising voice. The majority of the songs on the new album have not been previously recorded by The Unthanks, so it isn’t the case that ‘Live & Unaccompanied‘ is just a quick fill-in live album, in fact The Unthanks have gone so far as to suggest that these are their definitive recordings, since these songs are best represented in the live arena. Well, perhaps, but since there mostly isn’t a studio recording to compare them to that argument gets pretty circular pretty quickly. Continue reading “The Unthanks “Diversions Vol.5 Live & Unaccompanied” (RabbleRouser, 2020)”

The Unthanks “Diversions Vol. 4: The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake” (RabbleRouser Music, 2017)

The Unthanks – sisters Becky and Rachel – have, over the last decade, become major figures on the English folk scene. Strong on tradition they have also forged new musical paths and travelled along many sidetracks. This latest release is one of the sidetracks,which also sees the sisters forging a connection to the mainstream. In 2013 a series of home recordings of the songs and poems of Molly Drake – mother of the highly regarded Nick – emerged, and The Unthanks have developed these both for these new recordings and also as a live show. Both feature the voice of Molly’s daughter – actress Gabrielle Drake – adding renditions of poems, some standing alone others blended into the songs. Continue reading “The Unthanks “Diversions Vol. 4: The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake” (RabbleRouser Music, 2017)”

The Unthanks announce new album and UK dates

Forming the latest in their series of album projects, the Tyneside band The Unthanks will release Diversions Vol. 4: “How Wild The Wind Blows: Performing The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake” at the end of May, and are touring around the UK extensively to promote it.  The album is based on poems by the mother of Nick Drake, and poet and songwriter in her own right, she made recordings at home during the 1950s with the help of her husband, and though never released at the time, share plenty of common ground with her celebrated son’s – charming and bittersweet, dark and pensive. Continue reading “The Unthanks announce new album and UK dates”