They probably are one of my favourite bands of this decade, and I mean really. I say this simply because "The Bairns" just knocked me dead. It reminds me of when I listened to Lal Waterson for the first time: I instantly knew that was a great voice, with depth and intensity. And the Unthanks (their “new” name) seem to have the Midas touch too. You know, it’s a bit like listening to Richard Thompson playing Britney Spears’ Baby one more time…I mean: it sounds almost good… (or Caetano Veloso performing Jackson’s Black or white, for that matter). The point being: it looks like they can take any song (particularly from the british folk canon), make it their own, and make it sound divine.
So, just in case any of you haven't heard anything from Rachel Unthank/The Unthanks, this is a rip from a BBC radio christmas special with 3 songs (Tar Barrel In Dal, Felton Lonnin, This Endris Night).
If you want to know more about the Unthanks and their forthcoming album, "Here's the tender coming" go listen to BBC 2 "The Radcliff and Maconie Show" from 08/09/09, when they played live 3 new songs. Incidentally: does anyone have an upload of "Here's the tender..."?
And here are also 2 videos of them playing for "Shoot the player", dating back to some months ago: