The Unthanks


Released 09/02/15

CD: £9.99
(including instant download track)


180g Double Vinyl with etched 4th side: £20
(including instant download track and full mp3 album)


EXTRAS WHEN YOU BUY FROM US Instant download track while you wait for your album to arrive. When you buy Mount The Air on CD or vinyl from The Unthanks shop, not only will you be maximising the artist’s financial return from your purchase, if your purchase is a pre-order (bought before the release date), you will get one high quality MP3 track to listen to instantly, by download link. You’ll get this if you order through iTunes too, but we are the only place you can by the physical product and still receive an instant download MP3 to keep you going while the album reaches its release date.

About the album

The Unthanks invite you to Mount the Air. An invitation to be free, weightless, airborne, to transcend reality, to enter your imagination, to raise the possibilities above the ordinary, to become one with nature, to give yourself up to nature and let the wind carry you to new places. To fly. Or, perhaps you prefer a more objective, bullet-point summary!:

  • Mount The Air is the first studio album by The Unthanks since Last was released four years ago.

  • Mount The Air has been two years in the making and the first to be made in their own makeshift studio in Northumberland, set up in an old granary building, 200 yards from where Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally live with their 2 sons, 1 and 3 years old.

  • Mount The Air is released on their own label, RabbleRouser, despite offers of continuation with major labels.

  • It is the first Unthanks record to feature writing from all 5 core members, including debut contributions from both Rachel and Becky Unthank, as well as continued and more extensive writing from pianist and producer Adrian McNally, including the opening 10 minute title track.

  • Musically more ambitious than ever, the Mercury nominated Geordies are still a combination of grounded tradition and filmic orchestration, but with Mount The Air, they also take on flavours from traditions as diverse as Spain, India, Blue Note and, er, Trip Hop!

  • While Mount The Air has all the hallmarks of a band working in intense isolation, since releasing Last in 2011, The Unthanks have also been busy collaborating with Orbital, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Martin Green (Lau), Martin Hayes, The Voice Squad, Sting, Charles Hazlewood, The Moulettes and German composer Werner Cee, while also producing a film soundtrack, an orchestral scale commission for a brass band collaboration with the National Champions of Great Britain, a WW1 project with Sam Lee, explorations of the work of both Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons, and a children’s song commission. And Rachel Unthank and Adrian McNally had two children and Becky Unthank got married!

When The Unthanks released Last in 2011, Uncut wrote that “The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded jazz: as a launch pad for exploring the wider possibilities”. The Unthanks have taken that analogy a step further on Mount The Air, with a beautiful opening title track and single that has echoes of Miles Davis and Gill Evans in their Sketches of Spain period, and climaxes with a euphoria reminiscent of Arcade Fire or Elbow. Written by Unthanks pianist and producer, and husband of Rachel Unthank, Adrian McNally, Mount the Air is based on the themes of a one-verse traditional ditty, found in a book of Dorset songs in Cecil Sharp House by Becky Unthank, who co-writes some of the words with McNally. The piece features the playing of the world-class trumpet player, Tom Arthurs; a former BBC New Generation Artist and Elysian Quartet collaborator, now immersed in the Berlin improv scene. Mount The Air is the work of an act who still believe whole heartedly in the value of the album as an art-form. On very limited resources and makeshift facilities, they have shown extraordinary commitment and devotion to that art-form, to create their finest work yet.