Performing Arts | The Reconnoisseur

The Unthanks

The sisters who have made folk music fashionable

The Unthanks

Image: Alex Telfer

October 03 2009
David Cheal

I’m a bit of a folk-music sceptic, but I’ve finally been won over to a genre that was once the preserve of dog-eared purists. In recent years folk has been rehabilitated, given a sort of makeover; it’s still niche, but these days it’s almost, dare I say it, fashionable.

This is thanks in no small part to the efforts of The Unthanks. Rachel and Becky Unthank (on left of picture) are sisters from Tyneside, whose new album, Here’s the Tender Coming, is just out. In their breathy, pure voices and lilting accents, they breathe fresh life into traditional, vernacular folk songs, as well as singing imaginatively arranged cover versions and their own compositions. They’re lovely to look at, too. Catch them, before they get too popular, on their autumn tour of modest venues.

See also

Music, Concerts