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The Unthanks – Last album review

When I feel like sitting at my desk to write letters to friends in faraway places while donning a buttoned-up lace gown, next to the window that is being lightly tapped by the rain outside, I will put on this album called Last, by the sisters Unthank, who go by the Unthanks (yes, that is their family name). The sisters Becky and Rachel hail all the way from the UK, North East England, to be exact.

Last, the current release from the sisters (titled for a track from the album, not to be implied as their last album) is a collection of dream-like, delicate narratives. Though the narration comes just as much from the musical stylings, particularly the graceful string arrangements as well as the lovely but delicate-as-lace vocals. In this instance, it is quite fair to judge this album by its cover, as the artwork by 19th Century artist Winslow Homer captures the romanticism of the album quite perfectly.

It is also quite suiting that this album have a reprise at the end, the conclusion that brings the end all the way back to the beginning, close to a minute of subtle strings woven in and out of each other.

Most of their songs are narratives from European folklore, bringing life to such tales with which I may never have made the acquaintance, such as the first song on the album, Gan To The Kye.

Canny Hobbie Elliott steals my heart with its brass solos, though I am a sucker for brass, but that is probably the most sing-along song on the album. This is not a sing-along album though as it has more of a rainy day, somber tone.

As lovely of an album, from the very first second all the way to the end, it’s not the album I will constantly have on repeat, allowing it to gently seep into my subconscious while I’m not paying attention. This album is one of those albums that, like a vintage party dress, is too pretty or delicate to wear everyday. But on called-for occasions it’s quite the stunner. As I mentioned earlier, when the mood is right this album will be spinning on my record player, when I can truly listen to this album, from the first second to the last. In all it’s beauty.

By that one girl

Los Angeles, I'm yours. Find me in my car, zipping from one part of LA to another- music blaring, or on the beach, in a bar, or in my apartment curled up with a book and my cat, buzzing off a cup o' joe...

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