The Unthanks


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  1. Gan To The Kye
  2. The Gallowgate Lad
  3. Queen of Hearts
  4. Last
  5. Queen of Hearts
  6. Give Away Your Heart
  7. My Laddie Sits Ower Late Up
  8. Canny Hobbie Elliot
  9. Starless
  10. Close the Coalhouse Door
  11. Last (Reprise)


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“This is a big album in every way”

"The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded jazz: as a launchpad for exploring the wider possibilities.. a bleakly beautiful record"

"sparse, intensely focussed production and some stunningly imaginative, minimalist-style arrangements..the strings have an icy, autumnal countenance about them, and it’s against their chilled and often foreboding presence that the voices of Rachel and Becky radiate warmth and compassion... their ability to pare back extraneous matter and to stare unflinchingly into the very soul of a song makes Last such a spellbinding experience"
BBC Music

“their fourth and best album.. bewitching and hugely ambitious”

"gorgeously unhurried, utterly mesmorising masterpiece."
Sunday Express

"deeply-felt, austerely beautiful music with deep roots and an appetite for something new. Last is folk music that doesn’t want to live in isolation."
The Mail

"quietly subverting English folk music.. proves the mix of Rachel and Becky's voices to be one of the true wonders of 21st-century music"
8/10 NME

“Just beautiful”
Lauren Laverne

The Independent Record of Week 12.03.11

6 Music Album of the Day 31.03.11

In 2010, The Unthanks seemed to be diversifying - a visit to Africa with Damon Albarn, Flea and Joan Wasser, exploratory concerts of music by Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons, collaborations with conductor Charles Hazelwood, Adrian Utley (Portishead), presenting TV programmes for BBC4, theatre shows with Colin Firth and Keira Knightley, long European and American tours, and Rachel Unthank expecting a first child with husband and band mate Adrian McNally... yet all along they were plotting and making their most ambitious music to date.

Last was their most expansive and expensive sounding record to date, yet it was made for next to nothing, using a combination of a Northumberland village hall, the snow covered farmhouse home of Rachel and Adrian, and a Victorian concert hall in Suffolk, where McNally wrote the title track. The Unthanks continued their predilection for unlikely covers, with interpretations of King Crimson’s Starless, a Tom Waits song, and a song intended to champion the unheralded British songwriter Jon Redfern.

(2011 RabbleRouser Music / EMI Records)