Tuesday 22 Jul

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

Narrative verse

L.T.Z. with Jabee, Frank Black & more
8 p.m. Saturday
The Conservatory 
8911 N. Western Ave. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Dancing in the Twilight

Sunday Twilight Concert Series with The Wurly Birds
7:30 p.m. Sunday
Myriad Botanical Gardens 
301 W. Reno Ave. 

07/16/2014 | Comments 0

Next big thing

As far as songs go, few prove as challenging to sing as our national anthem.

It’s a technically demanding tune from first note to last, to be sure, beginning with a low bellow that quickly soars toward star-punching high notes, eventually swelling to a show-stopping crescendo that even the most seasoned performer can have trouble mastering.

07/09/2014 | 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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