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The Crack Magazine

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Local: Nel Unlit

The second album from this Teesside collective is out in May and it’s fucking amazing. And that’s swearing.

When I first heard that Nel Unlit’s album was called ‘Ephemera; or, Tosh and the girl’ I thought, “Hmm…” And then when I read it was a concept album about Tosh, a single father and serial hoarder, and how he relates to his teenage daughter and his estranged mother, I thought, “Uh-oh.” But my fears were assuaged by this ambitious collection of songs, which speak of a band willing to think big. Musically, you can hear echoes of Kate Bush in tracks such as ‘Letters Sent’, or PJ Harvey (‘After School Club’), or The Unthanks (‘Cages and Bubbles’), or Sea Power (‘Slowly’). Even the spoken word track ‘Mirrow’ doesn’t sound shit (it sounds like The Streets – a good thing). Apparently the band, sorry collective, drew on a mix of overheard stories, painful family memories and overactive imaginations to pull this narrative together. But however they got there, it worked, and this gritty slice of life sees Nel Unlit with their hands in the kitchen sink but their thoughts on loftier concerns. DP