Posts Tagged ‘Adrianne Lenker’

May be an image of 1 person and outdoors

When Adrianne Lenker says an artist’s “writing and voice are ethereal and angelic and guide me through internal canyons and plains,” you stop and take notice. Lenker (alongside Big Thief producer Andrew Sarlo) co-produced the debut album from Sydney, Australia-born singer/songwriter Indigo Sparke, who lives up to her collaborator’s praise on echo. Songs likeColourblind” and “Carnival” draw the bulk of their power from Sparke’s bewitching vocals, with only sparse instrumentation to pull focus from her mystic storytelling—a deliberate decision she and Lenker made. “This record is an ode to death and decay. And the restlessness I feel to belong to something greater,” Spark explains. “Adrianne and I talked so much about keeping the record stripped back and simple, that is, we are all just constantly getting stripped back and humbled by life.” Listening to echo feels like standing in the shadow of an entity so large, you can’t see its entire outline, flooding you with fear, but also an unknowable awe. 

Indigo Sparke brings her deeply personal lived experiences to her music, highlighting the spaces between the polarity of softness and grit. Pulling from her experiences of addiction, of healing, of queerness, of heartbreak, of joy, of connection, of the softness and of the grit alchemizing it all into tenderness through her music, she conjures up a myriad of feelings that is undeniably potent. Echo was co-produced by Sparke, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker and Andrew Sarlo, and features playing from Nick Hakim and Big Thief’s James Krivchenia.

The voice of Indigo Sparke feels fearless, but at moments it comes at a whisper. I was first taken by this Australian singer on a random journey, listening to around 1300 songs for last year’s SXSW music fest. Her song “the day i drove the car around the block” has a mundane title that made me smile, but lyrics that both cut hard and comfort. “Take off all my clothes, kiss me where the bruises are,” and later the refrain, “Love is the drug, and you are in my blood now.” Indigo told the NPR crowd about the song’s origins of trying to learn how to drive on the other side of the road while in Los Angeles, with a huge vehicle and a stick shift.

She just gave up and wrote this tale of defeat and solace. On her third song, a tune that was so new at the time of this performance it had no title (now it’s called “Burn”), she’s joined on guitar by her partner, Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief. It all made for a most intimate and sincere expression of honest emotion and a beautiful day with friends in the office.

SET LIST: “Colourblind” “the day i drove the car around the block” “Burn” MUSICIANS Indigo Sparke: vocals, guitar; Adrianne Lenker: guitar

Indigo Sparke From the album Echo, out February 19th 2021, via Sacred Bones Records

May be an image of flower and text that says 'adrianne lenker SONGS and instrumentals out now'

Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief has released a new video for her song “forwards beckon rebound” from her 2020 solo album “Songs”. The video features Lenker’s silhouette shot floating around the screen accompanied by her elucidative dancing at dusk in the desert. Filmed at Wild Heart Ranch in Joshua Tree, the “forwards beckon rebound” video was self-directed by Lenker but brought to life by cinematographer Adam Gundersheimer and producer V Haddad.

Last fall, Lenker released two solo albums titled “Songs” and “Instrumentals”, which featured her strong song writing abilities and indie-folk sound seeping through each track.

Both albums were written and recorded in April 2020 while under quarantine. After Big Thief’s European tour ended early due to COVID-19, Lenker retreated to a one-room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts and set up a studio there with the aid of engineer Philip Weinrobe.

“I grew really connected to the space itself,” said Lenker in a previous press release. “The one-room cabin felt like the inside of an acoustic guitar—it was such a joy to hear the notes reverberate in the space.”

May be an image of 1 person

The third single from Australian artist Indigo Sparke’s forthcoming debut album “Echo” , “Colourblind” is an intimate, yet expansive indie-folk track on which Big Thief songwriter, solo artist and Echo co-producer Adrianne Lenker makes her presence felt. Sparke’s stunning vocals are sandwiched between soft electric guitar on one side and rustic acoustic chords on the other as she sings, “There’s a knowing in your eyes / There’s a truth behind my lies,” stretching that last syllable for what feels like miles. Indeed, the song has a distinctly pastoral, wide-open appeal to it, particularly in the whistled outro—you half-expect a tumbleweed to blow through the track, and its Paris, Texas-inspired video (co-directed by Sparke and DP Monica Buscarino) only adds to the effect. It’s rare to encounter a young singer/songwriter with that sort of transportive power. “I think there was a period of time when I was almost laughing at how sad I was in the space of ambiguous liminal love.

If you don’t start laughing, you just cry more,” Sparke says of the song. “Its a feeling when you are kind of sick to your stomach and anxious but excited and not knowing what the fuck is going on. The space of waiting. Waiting to know someone else’s truth, or waiting to see someone, or waiting to see what the future holds for you and that person, or waiting to see if it’s even real. Everything becomes that person, everything reminds you of that person, everything speaks that persons name. It’s a bittersweet thing.

Indigo Sparke brings her deeply personal lived experiences to her music, highlighting the spaces between the polarity of softness and grit. Pulling her experiences of addiction, of healing, of queerness, of heartbreak, of joy, of connection, of the softness and of the grit alchemising it all into tenderness through her music, she conjures up a myriad of feelings that is undeniably potent. Indigo was born in the belly of Sydney, Australia straight into the heart of a family with music in their bones. Her parents, a jazz singer and a musician, named her after the Duke Ellington song “Mood Indigo,” and her childhood was spent serenaded by a rich soundtrack of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. From a young age Indigo felt called to the stage, attending a performing arts high school, and followed it with three years in an acting school, working as an actress before embedding herself and heeding the call to the path of music.

Indigo taught herself to play guitar in her early twenties. Over the next few years, she established herself on the Australian music scene, and released her EP “Night Bloom” in 2016. Indigo’s career continually bloomed, opening for Big Thief on the Australian dates of their 2017/ 2018 tour, and then was invited to play at South by Southwest 2019. There, NPR’s Bob Boilen was first taken by Indigo, writing that her lyrics ”both cut hard and comfort” and that her performance “balanced heavy, reverb-drenched verses with moments of airy and acoustic whispers.” Sparke began 2020 with a February Tiny Desk Concert at NPR, and had been booked as the opening act for Big Thief’s sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand, including a scheduled performance at the Sydney Opera House before Covid-19 saw everything change.

It was in 2019 that Indigo lived and travelled across America, in places like NYC, Minneapolis, Topanga, Taos, in many hotel rooms and amidst the vast stretching landscapes on the never ending highways, channelling her creative energy into the completion of her latest album, “echo”. “echo” was recorded between LA, Italy and New York, co-produced by Sparke, Adrianne Lenker (of Big Thief), and Andrew Sarlo (producer of Big Thief, Nick Hakim, Hovvdy, Courtney Marie Andrews, Bon Iver, Hand Habits, Active Child). The record was completed at Figure 8 Studio in New York City, studio of musician Shahzad Ismaily. Phil Weinrobe (producer/engineer for Leonard Cohen, Damien Rice, Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, JFDR, and Lonnie Holley) engineered and mixed the album. Of this incredibly deep and intimate record, Indigo says, “When writing and recording the record, I wondered how it would all come together. I felt like I was standing back in the desert, looking up at the blue night sky, wondering how all the stars would connect. I think sometimes it’s the dark matter or void space between them, that holds it all together.

This record is an ode to death and decay. And the restlessness I feel to belong to something greater. Adrianne and I talked so much about keeping the record stripped back and simple, that is, we are all just constantly getting stripped back and humbled by life.” Indigo’s art searches for the vulnerability that comes with a feeling of true safety, a vulnerability that can grant access to a world behind tangible experience. It is clear Indigo has lived and woven her many lives into these songs, telling us, “I feel and have often felt a million different women ramble and reconfigure the corners of my mind and soul. I think in my life, I have ricocheted off so many different walls within myself. It’s an endless search to understand the mysteries of life and love and history. As soon as you think you’ve got it, it’s gone. Sometimes I feel so thin. Sometimes I feel so robust. I think that comes through the music.” “I feel that death and time hang over me like questions, I have felt the shimmer and the edge for so long now but what I long for are the worlds of safety and safe love. There are so many windows in life to look through and so many ways to heal and express. My photography, poetry and music, were born at a juncture mirroring different parts of me. I see and feel visually, I am obsessed with immortalizing memory.”

Indigo Sparke – the album “Echo”, out February 19th 2021, via Sacred Bones Records

See the source image

Another delicate and devastating piece of music from the pen of Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker. Her deeply affecting, evocative lyrics are potent as ever on the Brooklyn band’s third album, and the music has that same free and unencumbered spirit as their best work in the past.

Adrianne Lenker is here for the journey. On rare breaks in her touring schedule, she travels. It’s a willing itinérance that confirms the singer-guitarist’s rapport with the unknown. “I’ve become very translucent,” she says. “I allow things to pass through me, rather than feeling them hit me, like a defense mechanism.”

Lenker and her band Big Thief has built their reputation on a transcendent live show, where the boundaries between performer and audience evaporate in the wake of Lenker’s vulnerability, words sprouting from her harrowing and beautiful depths. The folk-steeped indie-rock quartet has toured relentlessly since their 2016 debut Masterpiece and its 2017 follow-up Capacity became hits for Saddle Creek, playing hundreds of shows across North America, Europe, and Australia.

“I’m living out of my truck,” Lenker explains. Speaking from that vehicle, parked outside a café in Los Angeles, Lenker explains that life without a permanent home is freeing, but also has its drawbacks. “I’m driving this truck, and it’s a gas guzzler,” she says. “If I could afford it, I’d get an electric car, and I’ve been thinking about converting this one.”

The band’s third album, U.F.O.F., marks their debut for indie stalwart 4AD. Recorded with long time producer Andrew Sarlo at Bear Creek Studios near Seattle, the record showcases the locked-in nature of the band whose communal instinct has been honed by the intimacy of its live show, and the tacit bonds formed from an aggressive touring schedule. Capturing this spirit was essential in the recording process, and the band largely played live in a cozy, rustic room.  Big Thief, which includes guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik, and drummer James Krivchenia. The group will live here together for a month, and eat, sleep, and rehearse for their upcoming tour. But today, the mountaintop hideaway is Lenker’s alone—one in a long line of interim homes for the songwriter, who ditched her Brooklyn apartment three-and-a-half years ago in exchange for a life on the road. “We basically set out on tour and kind of never went back,” she says. “When I’m not touring, I’m just visiting with people, or renting, staying in an AirBnB or a motel. I like it, but the grass is always greener in a way. I think I’m craving a space where I can be still. But I imagine if I had the stillness, I’d be longing for the road.”

“We wanted it to be one big moment of energy with lots of passions,” recalls Krivchenia. Many of the tracks on U.F.O.F. were recorded live—some in just one or two takes—in the studio’s cabin-like main room. “Dom had this focus on the microphones and capturing the sounds of our instruments, so we were able to dance a lot more,” recalls Lenker.

Lenker’s complicated relationship with her life in perpetual motion is one of the many inspiration points behind Big Thief’s latest record, U.F.O.F. Anchored by Lenker’s vocals, U.F.O.F. (the last F stands for “friend”) sounds as expansive as its title implies—a shimmering collection of songs about “the blood and the guts of the human experience and the outward wondering about the mystery of it all,” says Lenker. It’s the most ambitious music Big Thief have ever made. Compared to the band’s last two records, U.F.O.F.’s arrangements are fuller, brighter, and harsher, delivered with the kind of ease that can only come from years of living, working, and creating side-by-side.

“There’s always some element of that alchemy of us playing together in real time, rather than stacking everything,” Lenker says. “It’s important. When a band is actually playing together you can feel it in the recordings.” Though U.F.O.F.is sharp in its instrumentation—drums, bass, and guitars passing through one another with a patterned fluidity—it also exudes spontaneity. Ambient sounds and textures punctuate the songs, and Lenker’s vocals growl and skitter.

Led by Lenker’s stunning, vulnerable lyrics, Big Thief’s songs have the keen ability to command attention. Few do that as well as U.F.O.F.’s opening track, “Contact.” The song begins with Lenker’s trance-like voice and Meek’s droning atmospherics. “It started as this exercise about the movie “Contact,” says Lenker. “I was looking at this heroine [played by Jodie Foster] who was so brave and so passionate, but didn’t receive much recognition, and had to fight through life. She had this deep longing for contact with the unknown—she was so committed to it. I thought it was so inspiring. That’s what I want to be like. Sometimes I feel like I get there, but then sometimes I’m so far from that—I’m caught by the traps of my ego, or all these things that make me feel smaller. That whole beginning section [of the song] is this brooding, numb state—a state I’ve been fighting my whole life. When you’re depressed, you can go to this place where you could be run over and not even feel it. There’s this disassociation from the body. But at the same time, you can see the sun, you can see the wind, you can see all the life around you. You can recognize that there is life being breathed through everything, but somehow you just can’t feel yourself connected to it.”

Around the three-minute mark, “Contact” is jolted from its slow, languid rumination on depression by a jarring onslaught of noise, accompanied by Lenker’s big, blood-curdling scream. “The idea was this person who could sort of see the sunlight through the water, and suddenly they feel this hand on their arm and they get pulled up. Their lungs fill with oxygen and they can feel the joy, they can feel the loss, they can feel the beauty, they can feel the nastiness—they can feel everything suddenly because they’re alive. That scream is suddenly feeling the deepest and oldest wounds. It’s the scream of birth—of being knocked back into life.”

There’s an unexpected bite when she sings the phrase “screaming sound” on the fourth track, “From” (a song that also appeared on Lenker’s 2018 solo album abysskiss). The heart-rending enunciation poured out unexpectedly, and was a point of discomfort at first. “I’ve been practicing trusting the band, even to the point where I don’t always choose my vocal takes,” she says. “Even if I don’t like something, I let go of it if the collective thinks that it’s good. I’ve realized that I’m not a good judge of my own singing.”

Whether you’re losing your mind in the dizzying ‘From’, stomping your feet to the down-home Americana of ‘Cattails’, or bawling your eyes out to the title track – you’re not gonna get through this record without feeling some feelings.

Though her life isn’t tethered to possessions, there are aspects of keeping a home that she misses. “I imagine that if I lived in one place I would have a compost toilet, and would be gardening and cooking my meals, and biking around a lot,” she says. She’s also not remiss about the volume of disposable wares commensurate with life as a working musician. “It’s a pretty wasteful industry that we’re a part of, even making records,” she says. “All the paper products and fliers and water bottles and driving. Not to mention when you play festivals, there are all these products that are offered to you.”

This macro view of the music industry can feel staggering, so for now Lenker is focused on more easily attainable and conscious decisions when it comes to avoiding waste. “When I bring my little ceramic mug made by my friend into the coffee shop, and ask them to please put the coffee in there, I feel more myself,” she says. “It’s little things, like turning off the water when I’m brushing my teeth.” Though it can be easy to abandon these principles when rambling from green room to green room, she feels more grounded when honouring them. “I feel part of the earth in some small way,” she adds. “You can ignore these tiny thoughts, or you know, you can turn off the lights when you leave the room. The small things are really important.”

This spring, Lenker begins playing in support of U.F.O.F., marking the start of fifty tour dates at mid-sized clubs and European festivals stretching into November. She’ll have only July and September off to recharge, and admits that this amount of travel and outpouring of physical and emotional expression can be depleting—but to her, it’s mostly a blessing and an opportunity to connect.

“The only way we can do this is to try to knock walls down with our music,” she says. It’s in this open posture, on the road and in performances, that she’s found her greatest sense of self. “That’s Big Thief in a nutshell,” she says. “We’re digging through all these layers that separate us.”

Listen deeply and allow yourself to be taken by its subtle charms.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing  (home) Concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space. introduced by Bob Boilen | November 18th, 2020 For her Tiny Desk (home) concert, Adrianne Lenker’s home is a camper trailer parked somewhere in Joshua Tree National Park. It’s the appropriate setting for the five songs she performs from her new album, tunes birthed in a wooden cabin in Massachusetts. The songs, the words, the voice of Adrianne Lenker has been at the top of my year-end musical loves for the past five years, more so than any other artist. It began with her work as the singer and songwriter on Big Thief’s electric debut album, “Masterpiece”, in 2016 and runs through this year’s two sister solo albums, one titled songs and the other instrumentals. Those albums contain nothing more than an acoustic guitar, voice, and the bug, birds, and creatures captured while recording. Her yearning voice, simultaneously frail and strong, draws me to those songs — songs about people, everyday life, everyday death, and ordinary places. All the while, she picks the tunes out of her guitar or paints the rhythms with a brush. These are songs worth spending time with, simple on first listen, but so much more profound once you live with them.

SET LIST: “zombie girl” “two reverse” “dragon eyes” “anything” “ingydar” MUSICIANS Adrianne Lenker: vocals, guitar

 

Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker releases “songs and instrumentals” on 4AD records . Songs and Instrumentals are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to coronavirus. After returning to the states from Europe, Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts. This recording is 100% analog-analog-analogue (AAA). No digital process was used in the production of this sound recording. The album’s stunning artwork are watercolour paintings done by Adrianne’s grandmother, Diane Lee.

The heart-aching voice behind big thief resumes her solo career with a record that celebrates both the poignancy of her lyricism and richness of her instrumental ear, resulting in a double album of inconsolable folk & serene acoustic arrangements. Adrianne Lenker appeals to the warm and fuzzy in ways that aren’t just low-hanging fruit. Her unusual vocal stylings (which have proved more influential than ever) are a godsend, and her poetic imagery—sometimes dainty and sometimes harsh—evokes the very best of comforting storytelling. On songs (also accompanied by an instrumentals album), Lenker brings the wonderfully detailed lines that also make Big Thief such a magical group (“Wind that howls like a hound / Wind that laughs like a clown … Candescent insects / Crosses and fishnecks”), while offering more stripped-down arrangements. 

‘Songs’ and ‘Instrumentals’ are two distinct collections, No digital process was used in the production of this sound recording. “her songs feel age-old, with a haunting serenity. the talent she possesses is something so special and rare that it feels wrong to reduce it to a simple review” 9/10 – loud & quiet.

Adrianne Lenker’s albums “songs” and “instrumentals” are out October 23rd, 2020 on 4AD Records.

Adrianne Lenker

Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker has announced two new albums: songs and instrumentals are both out on October 23rd via 4AD Records. Listen to the new single “Anything” (from songs) below.

Find physical editions of songs and instrumentals at Rough Trade. The albums were recorded in April after Big Thief’s tour was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. She recorded them entirely analogue in a cabin with engineer Philip Weinrobe. “I grew really connected to the space itself,” Lenker said in a statement. “The one room cabin felt like the inside of an acoustic guitar—it was such a joy to hear the notes reverberate in the space.” She continued:

I had a handful of songs that I was planning on recording, but by the time Phil arrived I was on a whole new level of heartsick and the songs were flying through my ears. I was basically lying in the dirt half the time. We went with the flow. A lot of the focus was on getting nourishment from our meals. We cooked directly on the woodstove, and we went on walks to the creek every day to bathe. I’m grateful that this music has come into existence. These songs have helped me heal. I hope that at least in some small way this music can be a friend to you.

from

Adrianne Lenker,
I’m writing to you from the windy California desert. today i am releasing a body of music that is very dear to me. I feel grateful and fortunate to have had the support of family and friends to make this possible. there is a complete list of credits and the story about making the records if you swipe to the right, which is a copy of what is contained within the folds of the vinyl cover.
amidst globally trying times, this music is merely a tiny drop of an offering. it is a small moment along my own reflective journey, the road of which is ever-widening. there is so much to learn, and I hope to continue to grow in my own compassion and empathy, education and comprehension of humanness and everything beyond. most of the songs are questions more than they are answers. I want to contribute to a more loving and peaceful world in any way I can for as long as I’m alive, I am dedicated to the endless excavation, and I hope my tools for doing so become ever more refined. for now, this is what {‘ve got. some songs and instrumentals. I want to give special thanks to my grandmother for her beautiful artwork, which she always has so dedicatedly tended to. and to Phil Weinrobe for capturing this music and helping me to set it free.
sending love from my speck of dust to yours, as we hurl through space inside of this tiny sphere called earth headed who knows where with each other.
yours,
annie.

Adrianne Lenker’s albums “Songs” and “instrumentals” are out October 23rd, 2020 on 4AD Records.

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage, playing a musical instrument and guitar

In 2016 the indie rock band Big Thief, comprised of former students of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, released their first album. They’ve since released two more albums, including their latest, “Two Hands,” and they’re beginning a world tour. James Krivchenia, Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek and Max Oleartchik joined “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to perform the song “Not.”

Big Thief’s fourth studio album Two Hands was released earlier this year, and following a stretch of recent tour dates throughout North America the band stopped by CBS This Morning to play as part of the show’s ongoing “Saturday Sessions” performance series.

As with other CBS This Morning performances, the group played a short three-song set, which here included the songs “Two Hands,” “Not,” and “Forgotten Eyes,” all of which appear on their latest album. While “Not” and “Forgotten Eyes” were both released as singles, the title track was later released as a standard track on the album. Two Hands is the second Big Thief album in less than a year following the excellent U.F.O.F. which was released this past May. “It has been two years [since their second album], and in that time Adrianne [Lenker] had just written so many songs,” guitarist and vocalist Buck Meek said in a recent interview with Stereogum “For a month we went through every song and built arrangements and hashed them out.”

The indie rock band Big Thief, James Krivchenia, Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek and Max Oleartchik joined “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to perform the song “Forgotten Eyes.”

Dandelion

The “Dandelion” 7″ features solo acoustic performances from Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker recorded by Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic, all adorned with a cover painting by Temple.

Put to tape one wintry day in early 2016, the recordings find Temple capturing Lenker in a searching, intimate performance. They offer a first public hearing for “Dandelion”, a beguiling new song from Lenker’s visionary pen; while the version of “Masterpiece” contained here casts a new light on the title track of their acclaimed debut LP.

Explaining how the recordings came about, Lenker says: “On tour with Here We Go Magic, our van, Bonnie, broke down in the Rocky Mountains. We really didn’t want to miss any shows. Fortunately, Here We Go kindly offered me the empty seat in their truck, and I went ahead to play two solo shows while the rest of the band fixed Bonnie.

“After Luke saw the show, he had an idea to capture the simple raw form of the songs played solo. Several months later, I went out to Hudson, NY, and we filled eight cassette tapes, with one song played through a few times per 15-minute tape. It was a really relaxing way of recording. I thought we might just stuff the tapes in a shoebox in a closet and find them years later. It’s nice to record without the intention of releasing the thing you’re making.”

http://

Release Date: September 2nd, 2016

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing, tree and outdoor

A mere three months after the release of their critically-acclaimed “U.F.O.F”., Big Thief have announced a second LP this year. “Two Hands” will be released on October 11th via 4AD Records and its first scorching single “Not.”

Recorded 30 miles outside El Paso at Sonic Ranch Studio — surrounded by 3,000 acres of pecan nut orchards — the Brooklyn band called Two Hands “the earth twin” to its sister record U.F.O.F., known as “the celestial twin” (that LP was recorded in a cabin in the woods of Washington State). The new album was recorded live with almost no overdubs, giving it a really raw desert feel.

“Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old,” vocalist Adrianne Lenker has said in a statement. “Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.” It’s our 4th record, Two Hands. . We started making this the week after making U.F.O.F. it’s hard to put into words how much this one means to us. we are so proud of it and we are so steamed up to share it with you all. once again, Dom Monks on the board and Andrew Sarlo in the producers seat.

‘Not’ by Big Thief, from their upcoming album ‘Two Hands’, out October 11 on 4AD Records.