The Unthanks are something to be grateful for

By Larissa Gula

The Unthanks

Here’s the Tender Coming


Rocks like: A… The Unthanks

Here’s the Tender Coming


Rocks like: A pop-style Loreena McKennitt

Grade: B

The Unthanks might deserve a round of applause for style, but its songs’ topics on the album Here’s the Tender Coming are a bit of a downer.

Labeled as an English folk band, it’s hard to ignore that The Unthanks has a hint of pop stirring beneath the surface, with a sharp drum and piano accompanying almost every song it composes and releases.

Yet it focuses on old-style topics, like drowning sailors, young mine workers and weddings gone tragically wrong. It uses classical music brass and string instruments instead of simply guitars, as well.

The piano especially feels like the centerpiece instrument that helped create the band’s identity, adding an element of eeriness to every song.

The keyboards create relaxing atmospheres yet stay sad throughout the album. The vocals are so soft they sound ghost-like.

Randomly introduced instruments, such as a brass instrument, don’t feel random at all. They might only be used once, but they are used perfectly, easing into the song in which they are used and fitting the mood.

But the beautifully haunting vocals work and draw attention to topics, and the melancholy beauty makes the listener think.