This is one of those albums that defy categorisation and transcends genres. The Unthanks may be classed as a folk group, but they have always plowed a much wider path, adapting songs by the likes of Robert Wyatt and King Crimson. With this latest album they have ventured even further away from traditional folk songs. Sounding more jazzy, with pronounced trumpet and brushed drums, they do evoke Gil Evans period Miles Davis but on epic tracks like Foundling and the title track there is more of the spirit of Islands and Starless by King Crimson. Which is no coincidence as the band covered Starless on their last album.
The Unthank sisters both have a light, wistful air to their voices which is enhanced by the spacious and sparse production. This is all enhanced by the empathic and expert mastering of Denis Blackham.
The album may be classed as eclectic folk, but this is one album that can't be easily pigeonholed and rightly so. The quality of these heartfelt songs is sublime and has to be enjoyed on its own terms. In some ways they are not a million miles away from what Big Big Train have been doing lately, but coming at a traditional form of English songwriting from somewhat different directions, but somehow meeting in the middle.