It gives us great pleasure today to feature a new song from a band that we’ve only featured a tiny handful of times on the blog, who certainly don’t fit in with much of the poppier side of the music spectrum that we seem to spend a lot of time getting excited and writing about, or indeed the next big thing culture that music blogging almost inevitably leads to. They are without a shadow of doubt one of our favourite bands of the last ten years; the only band to make us shed a tear twice at their shows, the only band that every time we’ve seen them (and it’s in to double figures now) have offered something different every single gig.
This is The Unthanks and this is their new song Mount The Air.
Released on their own label RabbleRouser, despite offers from major labels, Mount The Air is the title track from the band’s new LP due for release next year, although the single version is half the length of the full ten minute version that will be found on the long-player. Recorded in old granary building that has become their own makeshift studio it is the first studio release from the band since their 2011 LP Last which we named as our favourite LP of the year (see why here), a record that we described as having a real purity to it that we haven’t heard on any other record that year.
Mount The Air finds The Unthanks taking bold steps forward, exploring new territories, seemingly not content to just be seen as folk band. The song, which was written by Adrian McNully (husband of Rachel Unthank) with some lyrics by Rachel’s sister Becky, features trumpet courtesy of Tom Arthurs, a former BBC New Generation Artist and Elysian Quartet collaborator. The instrumentation gives the song an initially wintery feel before it develops into something loose and jazzy. It’s The Unthanks at their most free sounding. Then just when you think you’ve got the picture it heads further skywards as if the band have been listening to the more uplifting moments of Elbow. We can’t wait to hear it on their UK tour next year, we’ve got a feeling we’re going to blub again. The Unthanks just ooze real quality.
The Unthanks - Mount The Air