Diversions, Vol. 1: The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons (Live from the Union Chapel) by The Unthanks on Apple Music

15 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded in London's acoustically superior Union Chapel in December 2010, Diversions departs from The Unthanks' usual clutch of traditional and contemporary folk songs to embrace the unique songwriting of former Soft Machine iconoclast Robert Wyatt and art-house favorite Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons. Hegarty's songs of emotional turmoil and complexity easily fit into the wheelhouse of the Unthank sisters, Rachel and Becky. Their harmonies bring out the beauty of "You Are My Sister," while the solitude of "For Today I Am a Boy" is given a hand to hold as its harmonies fly to the moon. "Paddy's Gone" suggests not a dry eye in the house. Jonny Kearney's piano for the Antony set rolls like water over the falls, notes flowing with great emotional force. The sisters' between-song banter is humorous and informative, explaining their relationship and their connection to the material. Wyatt's "Sad Song," previously recorded in the studio, features Adrian McNally's piano and brings forth the melody in a straightforward performance. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded in London's acoustically superior Union Chapel in December 2010, Diversions departs from The Unthanks' usual clutch of traditional and contemporary folk songs to embrace the unique songwriting of former Soft Machine iconoclast Robert Wyatt and art-house favorite Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons. Hegarty's songs of emotional turmoil and complexity easily fit into the wheelhouse of the Unthank sisters, Rachel and Becky. Their harmonies bring out the beauty of "You Are My Sister," while the solitude of "For Today I Am a Boy" is given a hand to hold as its harmonies fly to the moon. "Paddy's Gone" suggests not a dry eye in the house. Jonny Kearney's piano for the Antony set rolls like water over the falls, notes flowing with great emotional force. The sisters' between-song banter is humorous and informative, explaining their relationship and their connection to the material. Wyatt's "Sad Song," previously recorded in the studio, features Adrian McNally's piano and brings forth the melody in a straightforward performance. 

TITLE TIME
3:56
5:43
5:55
4:05
4:13
4:40
4:43
3:18
3:43
3:10
5:03
4:11
5:15
6:59
2:50

About The Unthanks

British folk group the Unthanks took shape in 2004 under a different name, Rachel Unthank & the Winterset. Formed by sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, the Winterset released two albums and earned a loyal following in the U.K. before switching monikers in 2009. With a slightly different lineup in place -- one that featured Rachel's husband, pianist Adrian McNally, as well as fiddler Niopha Keegan and guitarist Chris Price -- the Unthanks released their debut album, Here's the Tender Coming, that same year. Here's the Tender Coming made a big splash in Europe, where it was named one of 2009's best releases by Mojo, The Guardian, and Uncut. After touring heavily in support of the album, the Unthanks returned to Rachel and Adrian McNally's Northumberland home to record another batch of songs. The result, Last, was released in spring 2011. The following year saw the release of the group's first live recordings, Diversions, Vol. 1: The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons: Live from the Union Chapel, London, Diversions, Vol.2: The Unthanks with Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, and Diversions, Vol. 3: Songs from the Shipyards. Mount the Air, the group's first studio album in four years, arrived in early 2015. 2017 marked a return to the group's Diversions series, with The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake, which saw the band delivering a set of recordings that chronicled the works of the mother of British folk icon Nick Drake. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Northumbria, England
  • FORMED
    2009

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