The Burns Unit is an eight-piece Scottish-Canadian music group. The band formed in 2006, after the musicians met at Burnsong, a Scottish songwriting retreat. The band members come from varying musical genres including folk, pop and rap, and all have either acclaimed solo careers or are also members of other bands. The band had its debut concert in 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland, at the Celtic Connections music festival. In 2010, they released their debut album, Side Show.
In 2012, King Creosote noted that he is working on a collaborative album with bandmate Michael Johnston, stating: "I have a half completed album lying in Toronto with my friend Michael Johnston from the Burns Unit".