Thursday 24 Jul

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Downtown Tulsa 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Mack truckin’

9 p.m. Friday 
Kamp’s Lounge 
1310 NW 25th St. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Chevy cruisin’

Chevy Woods with Kevin Gates & more
9 p.m. Sunday 
Vibe Night Club 
227 SW 25th St. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Rock steady

7 p.m. Saturday
Frontier City
11501 N. Interstate 35 Service Road
Free with park admission 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Folk · The Unthanks — Last

The Unthanks — Last

Brilliant when brooding, and greatest when gloomy

Stephen Carradini May 4th, 2011

“Disappointment is everywhere,” an Unthank sister sings in “Give Away Your Heart,” one of the many highlights of The Unthanks’ new album, “Last.”


No better synopsis exists, as this sparse folk disc deals almost exclusively in exquisite misery. It’s a downtrodden affair, but it’s oh-so-gorgeous while being gray.

Rachel and Becky Unthank (their real name!) are the driving force behind the band, as their pristine, incredibly British vocals dominate the proceedings. Their lovely accents are a boon for Anglophiles, while the songwriting will excite fans of early British folk music. This group doesn’t stray far from a pastoral, rural sound that music listeners associate with old music from the British Isles. 

The arrangements are spare, often confined to a piano, voice and a select accompaniment instrument. This lets the sadness be hindered by nothing but the number of ballads a listener can handle, nearly designed to dredge up any instance of sorrow in your recent times and magnify it.

“Canny Hobbie Elliot” is a rare beam of sunshine across the moor, and its mandolin and violin are a welcome respite. But it’s in the lowest moments that their best melodies and moods come out; from “Gan to the Kye” to “Starless” (!) to “No One Knows I’m Gone” (!!), “Last” is brilliant when brooding, and greatest when gloomy. —Stephen Carradini

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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