Mount The Air is the new album by The Unthanks, and the title track is the first single from it - an arresting revision of the ten minute opening piece, that marks their return in audacious and scintillating style.
When The Unthanks released Last in 2011, Uncut wrote that "The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded jazz: as a launch pad for exploring the wider possibilities". Two years in the making and recorded in their Northumberland studio, they take that analogy a step further on Mount The Air, with a beautiful opening title track and single that has echoes of Miles Davis and Gill Evans in their Sketches of Spain period, and climaxes with a euphoria reminiscent of Arcade Fire or Elbow, but without guitars, creating power instead with breathtaking musical colour and beauty.
Written by Unthanks pianist and producer, Adrian McNally, the single is based on the themes of a one-verse traditional ditty, found in a book of Dorset songs in Cecil Sharp House by Becky Unthank, who also co-wrote some of the new words alongside McNally. The video to the track is made by acclaimed animator Nick Murray Willis, whose work with the band on their previous single Last, earned him a place on the BAFTA judging panel.
For an album so long in the making, there is considerable anticipation for Mount The Air, not least from the many fellow performers who count themselves as fans of The Unthanks, including Martin Freeman, Elvis Costello, Colin Firth, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Ryan Adams, Rosanne Cash, Dawn French, Ade Edmondson, Al Murray, Matt Lucas, Stephen Mangan, Boy George, Ewan McGregor and Nick Hornby.
Having turned down continued offers from majors, Mount The Air is released on their own label, RabbleRouser Music, on 9th Feb 2015.
Pre-0rder links, along with special offers, extra content, limited editions and vinyl options, can be found at the link below.
Mount The Air (Single Version) is released 8th Dec 2014. Tour dates have also been announced and those in the area covered by this site are listed below.
28 Feb Sheffield City Hall 01 Mar Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 10 Mar Leeds Irish Centre 11 Mar Manchester The Ritz