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The Unthanks In Winter

When December draws near, The Unthanks will release and tour In Winter – a double-album, gatefold, dream-like winter fantasia, embracing both the dark and the light in the most ritualistic of seasons. Moving in and out of focus – like a memory – a bittersweet hymnal to our shared winter experience. Echoes of winter tunes known throughout the western world, mix with the traditional and the newly written, all passed with great care and love through The Unthanks filter.

In Winter is an abstract new work that captures the warmth and nostalgia of the festive season, the chill and darkness of the winter months, and the reflective ritualisms of the turn of the year; the end and beginning of the circle of life. You will hear what a Tyneside band playing a German Christmas song in the style of The Beach Boys sounds like! A Spanish carol performed by English folkies through the filter of Tom Waits. A newly written tribute to the NHS. An abstract take on A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten. Traditional wassails and old stories coloured with folk noir and traces of Vincent Guaraldi’s Merry Christmas Charlie Brown. In typical magpie style, The Unthanks collect and reimagine, at once unique and familiar, inspired but natural and effortless.

In Winter features a new sound palette for The Unthanks, incorporating vibraphone, clarinet, and saxophone into the core band that features vocal harmony, piano, violin, double bass, guitars, and percussion. The Unthanks tell stories that capture children. They make music cutting edge enough to be BBC 6 Music regulars. They can equally be found on Radios 2, 3, and 4, reframing history and drawing together the worlds of folk, jazz, orchestral, electronic, and rock music. The believability of their storytelling is admired by some of our best storytellers – Mackenzie Crook, Elvis Costello, Maxine Peake, Nick Hornby, Martin Freeman, Robert Wyatt, Charles Hazelwood, Ben Myers, and David Mitchell, to name a few. At the nucleus of a constantly evolving unit is the traditional upbringing of Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank and the arrangements and writing of Barnsley composer, pianist and producer, Adrian McNally.

The Unthanks have been described as “a take on tradition that flips so effortlessly between jazz, classical, ambient and post-rock, it makes any attempt to put a label on them a waste of time”.

Using the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, the influence of Miles Davis, Steve Reich, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits makes The Unthanks a unique band, earning them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and international acclaim along the way.

whiterocktheatre.org.uk

The Unthanks In Winter

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