Staff Rating

4.20/5

User Rating

4/5

The Unthanks - Here's the Tender Coming

kilgoretrout   (50 reviews)

Posted: 03/09/2010 | Comments: 5 | Rate:

Lately, I've acquired a taste for bands with female lead singers. It used to be something that would immediately turn me off from a band, but it seems we are entering the era of the terrific female lead. Near the front of the pack lie The Unthanks, a folk band from the UK.


Known as Rachel Unthank and the Winterset until last year, The Unthanks newest album, Here's the Tender Coming has received glowing reviews from pretty much everyone. In a world where "folk" music is occupied by long-haired hipsters and smelly hippies, The Unthanks stand in direct opposition.


Rachel and Becky Unthank take traditional folk music, modernize it a bit by adding a plethora of interesting instrumentation, and turn it into something that even the most non-discerning ear will have trouble ignoring.


It might confound you that while The Unthanks play such gorgeous music and sing with a beautiful softness all the while they're singing about sadness and loss. That's a part of the magic to this music, blending absolute beauty and absolute sorrow.


The standout tracks on Here's the Tender Coming are without a doubt The Testimony of Patience Kershaw and title track Here's the Tender Coming. The Testimony of Patience Kershaw is about a girl's strife who worked in the coal mines in the 1800's. While the sadness behind this song isn't going to resonate with everyone, The Unthanks do a magnificent job of making this traditional song more modern and beautiful than it's ever been before. Here's The Tender Coming is the album's closer and perhaps the one that stays closest to its roots. The song is about a woman that is saying her last goodbye to her significant other who is being shipped off to war.

"They will ship you foreign, that is what it means;
Here's the tender coming, full of red marines."


Sadly, a lot of people are going to be turned off by the term "folk music" as it applies to this record. If you can get past the label and into the music, I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised.

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Comments
I have no legs!
2,832 Posts
30/M/WV
lol at the rating.
stainin
20,639 Posts
31/M/NA
just listening now. not bad, i like the sound, but i'm not that fond of any of the songs i've heard yet. i'm surprised i haven't heard of this band. either i'm out the loop or they're going under appreciated over here.
I have no legs!
2,832 Posts
30/M/WV
well the songs are (as far as i know) all covers of traditional folk songs, but the way they rearranged them is awesome.
stainin
20,639 Posts
31/M/NA
ah ok (sorry, didn't read much of the review, just went and listened). i'm not massive on old stylee folk so that's probably why i'm not digging it so much. would go see live though.
I have no legs!
2,832 Posts
30/M/WV
yeah, i mean it's not something that everyone will be able to get into, but i gave it a high score because, 1. I liked it a lot, and 2. They are undeniably good at playing the style of music they're playing.

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