Posts Tagged ‘Adrianne Lenker’

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.”

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Release Date: September 2nd, 2016

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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.

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In the years since Big Thief released Masterpiece, they have become enormously popular, touring at a near-constant clip. Sophomore album Capacity was critically lauded for its ability to tell small stories that spoke to a universal truth, and lead songwriter Adrianne Lenker is now widely regarded as one of the most technically skilled and lyrically incisive musicians to emerge over the past five years. Her affect is often described as “mystical,” and her songs have the predictive quality of an oracle,  she can tell the story of an entire life in under five minutes.

Cycles fascinate Lenker. Her most recent solo album, 2018’s abysskiss, opens with “Terminal Paradise,” a song about energy transference or reincarnation. “See my death become a trail/ And the trail leads to a flower/ I will blossom in your sail/ Every dreamed and waking hour,” she sings. A reworked version of the song appears on Big Thief’s new album, U.F.O.F., as does abysskiss track “From.” This is Big Thief’s first album for 4AD Records and it’s being billed as their most collaborative to date, but the re-imagining of two of Lenker’s solo tracks emphasizes how inextricably tied to her vision this band really is.

Though Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, and bassist Max Oleartchik all attended the prestigious Berklee School Of Music, both Masterpiece and Capacity favored deceptively simple song structures over noodly, dense arrangements. U.F.O.F. maintains that sense of ease, but it is more impressionistic and more exploratory than the band’s previous work. Opening song “Contact” is slow and somber from the outset, but it descends into chaotic improvisation soon after. This album is, to put it plainly, loose and jammy at certain moments, which is the result of so much time spent on the road. Lenker is prolific, and writing on tour is as much a necessity as it is a method of self-preservation. “I’m not nervous to open up into that place,” she said of writing in front of her band mates during in-between moments on tour. “If I couldn’t write in front of them, I’m not sure how much I would write at all, because I’m always with them.”

It’s a crisis of capitalism that in order to flourish as a musician one must endure a relentless touring schedule, but through Lenker’s gaze, there’s something unquestionably romantic about her vagabondish lifestyle. On “Century,” she captures memories in short, bright flashes while James Krivchenia’s drums pitter patter like a gentle storm: “Dogs eyes/ In the headlights on the driveway/ Cool autumn rain/ Bugs died/ On your windshield on the freeway/ Wonder if you’ll be the same.” Still, transience means saying goodbye over and over again, and there is a sadness underlying many of the songs on U.F.O.F. The title track’s melody shifts with the changing wind as Lenker bids farewell to a “UFO friend,” her words dripping out in rapid succession, like a leaky faucet. Lenker’s best songs can often read as wordy on paper, a little bit overstuffed. When she sings, though, they tumble forth as if conjured from someplace outside of the atmosphere. It’s hypnotic.

That Big Thief were inspired by New Age music while writing this album is no great surprise. The natural world, and the forces that guide it, have always been of interest to this band, and though many of their songs address anonymous women (Jodi, Betsy, Caroline, Violet, and Jenni in the case of this album) they invoke Mother Earth with unrelenting regularity. Single “Cattails” contemplates nature’s steadfast hold, the elements that remain long after someone beloved passes away. In grief, it is only human to seek out places that remind you of the person you lost, and Big Thief lean into that instinct here: “With your wrinkled hands/ And your silver hair/ Leaving here soon and you know where/ To where the cattail sways/ With the lonesome loon/ You’ll be riding that train in late June.”

Death is the only constant, and as much as Big Thief languish in the beauty of the surrounding world, fatalism grounds this album in an unsettling certainty. “Orange” is a love song arranged simply on acoustic guitar that contemplates the inevitable death of a partner. As Lenker’s sights grow darker — hound dogs howl at the stars, pigeons fall like snowflakes — she works herself up to a climactic realization: “Fragile is that I mourn her death/ As our limbs are twisting in her bedroom.” On the hazy “Open Desert,” you hear Meek’s fingers slide across the fretboard as Lenker contemplates another ending, picturing the “white light of the waiting room/ Leaking through the crack in the door.”

These are the preoccupations that keep people up at night, but Big Thief don’t wallow in angst on U.F.O.F. Moments of bliss eclipse the sorrowful. The fact that this album was recorded live off the floor gives some tracks an in-the-moment, improvised quality. “Strange” is a jaunty funhouse of a song that unwinds like a twisted nursery rhyme, as Lenker sings about seeing a luna moth cry “lime green tears/ Through the fruit bat’s eye.” As Big Thief tunnel further into this psychedelia, the accompanying arrangement starts to lose its footing; Oleartchik’s bass bubbles up from below, Lenker’s voice reverberates outward, and a synthetic sighing mist descends. Something similar happens toward the end of the arid, hallucinatory “Jenni,” when Meek suddenly breaks free to play the same sustained chord over and over again, to be eventually overtaken by Krivchenia’s thundering drums.

Big Thief get weird on U.F.O.F., to great effect. On the earlier Masterpiece and Capacity, they were making folksy rock songs U.F.O.F. isn’t an outlier, not exactly, but it isn’t as conventional, and it’s exciting to consider the directions Big Thief might go in from here. Lenker has been putting out music since she was a teenager, and while it’s long been established that she’s a formidable songwriter, U.F.O.F. documents a band coming into their own, messing around with new ideas and having fun doing it. Listening to it feels like sharing in that experience.

U.F.O.F. is out 3rd May via 4AD Records.

Big Thief Share Second <i>U.F.O.F.</i> Single "Cattails," Expand Fall Tour

The next new single from Big Thief’s forthcoming effort “U.F.O.F.” (Due May 3rd on 4AD Records) has landed: the rustic “Cattails,” which follows on from the album’s gorgeous title track, released alongside its announcement in late February. “Cattails” opens on Adrianne Lenker’s jangling, finger-picked guitar and James Krivchenia’s steadfast drums before it’s later built out with a slow-rising synth hum and gleaming piano stabs. “Going back home to the great lakes / where the cattail sways / with the lonesome loon / riding that train in late June / with the windows wide by my side,” sings Lenker, her thoughts in transit somewhere between civilization and nature—she later insists, “you don’t need to know why / you don’t need to know why / when you cry,” deferring to the mysteries that run deep within the human heart.

Lenker recalls how the band’s new single came together in a statement:

“Cattails” came about while we were at the studio in Washington in the pine forest. Writing it was just one of those electric multicolored waves of connectivity just sweeping through my body. I stayed up late finishing the song and the next morning was stomping around playing it over and over again. We thought why not just record it, so James sat at the drums and we practiced, and by the time we’d finished practicing, Dom Monks—our engineer—had already sneakily set up mics and recorded it. It was beautiful that he’d captured it right away because when James and I were playing, it felt like a little portal in the fabric had opened and we were just flying. Listening back to it makes me cry sometimes.

‘Cattails’ by Big Thief, from the new album ‘U.F.O.F.’, released May 3rd on 4AD.

U.F.O.F., F standing for ‘Friend’, is the name of the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief and their first on 4AD Records, set to be released on 3rd May 2019.

U.F.O.F. was recorded in rural western Washington at Bear Creek Studios. In a large cabin-like room, the band set up their gear to track live with engineer Dom Monks and producer Andrew Sarlo, who was also behind their previous albums. Having already lived these songs on tour, they were relaxed and ready to experiment. The raw material came quickly. Some songs were written only hours before recording and stretched out instantly, first take, vocals and all.

“Making friends with the unknown… All my songs are about this,” says Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals); “If the nature of life is change and impermanence, I’d rather be uncomfortably awake in that truth than lost in denial.”

‘UFOF’ by Big Thief, from the new album ‘U.F.O.F.’, released May 3rd on 4AD Records

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U.F.O.F. is the highly anticipated third record by Big Thief, set to be released on 3rd May 2019 via 4AD Records.

U.F.O.F. was recorded in rural western Washington at Bear Creek Studios.  In a large cabin-like room, the band set up their gear to track live with engineer Dom Monks and producer Andrew Sarlo, who was also behind their previous albums.  Having already lived these songs on tour, they were relaxed and ready to experiment.  The raw material came quickly.  Some songs were written only hours before recording and stretched out instantly, first take, vocals and all.

“Making friends with the unknown… All my songs are about this,” says Lenker; “If the nature of life is change and impermanence, I’d rather be uncomfortably awake in that truth than lost in denial.”

Band Members
Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, James Krivchenia, Max Oleartchik

‘UFOF’ by Big Thief, from the new album ‘U.F.O.F.’, released May 3rd on 4AD Records.