Search Results for:

ADRIANNE LENKER

Adrianne Lenker

Bright Future

    Following the previously released single ‘Ruined,’ ‘Sadness As A Gift’ sees Lenker at her most familiar and warm, a track that is both utterly timeless, yet sounding new and surprising on every listen. The aliveness of Adrianne’s voice keeps her poetry aloft. She sings in a circle completed by guitar, piano, violin, and all voices. “The seasons go so fast // Thinking that this one was going to last // Maybe the question was too much to ask.”

    On Bright Future, Adrianne Lenker, a songwriter known for turns of phrase and currents of rhyme, says it plainly, “You have my heart // I want it back.” Documented with analogue precision, what began as an experiment in collaboration, became proof Adrianne’s heart did return, full to the brim, daring her into the unknown.

    During the high vibrance of autumn 2022, the Big Thief band member got lucky. Everyone could come. Three musical friends, “Some of my favourite people,” had space in their busy touring schedules to join her at the forest-hidden, analogue studio, Double Infinity. The musicians - Hakim, Davidson, and Runsteen - were known to Adrianne but newer to each other. “I had no idea what the outcome would be,” she recalls. The result? “It was magical,” she says. Adrianne’s musical risk became Bright Future, the studio’s first album, a 12-track telling of a journeyed heart.

    Bright Future’s co-producer and engineer, Philip Weinrobe, prepared the studio. He has been Adrianne’s partner on previous solo albums, but this was something new. Adrianne did not intend to make an album. They would instead explore the songs with no expectations. Even with an open outcome, from the start, Phil wanted to capture the sessions with the purest, technical honesty. He rolled onto Double Infinity’s old cherry wood floors an Otari 1/2 inch 8-Track and Studer console. To fill the air of the 150 year-old main room, Adrianne wanted piano, guitar, and violin. Mat Davidson plays them all. “I’ve known Mat a long time,” she says, “It doesn’t matter what instrument, his spirit just pours through.” At 17, Adrianne met Nick Hakim. She trusted her friend of 15 years to bring his sensitivity to the piano. “The way Nick would hold my songs, he would put every ounce of love.” Adrianne first met Josefin Runsteen in an Italian castle, and sought the classically trained violinist and percussionist’s “magnetic and contagious” energy. “She has such fire.” In addition to instrumentation, they made a chorus, adding carefully measured vocal harmonies. The sessions impressed and enchanted Adrianne. “I think the thing these people have in common, they are some of the best listeners I know musically. They have extreme presence.”

    The shelter and ease of the woodland Double Infinity studio is an element of the recordings. “It felt like everyone’s nervous systems released,” she says. “Once we were IN the song, somehow we just knew. No one stopped a take. We didn’t listen back. I only listened after everybody else left.” As a result, Bright Future has the best qualities of thoughtful engineering with the spontaneous swim of a field recording. There are details to savour, fingertips on strings, felt pads nodding in the piano, the harmonies a few steps back, all smoothly laid to tape. It comes together to allow Adrianne’s songs to be as they are, unarmoured and light-footed.

    Admirers of Adrianne’s solo music and Big Thief will find on Bright Future her reliable talent captured in stunning, magnetic clarity. In the company of parlour instruments, Adrianne’s modern melodic and lyrical inventions create new traditions. Her vocal flights at times outwit gravity, then land, guiding along an earthly path. The wholeness of the un-spliced recordings preserves a time of musical friendship during a golden season. The album also features the original recording of the now-beloved Big Thief song ‘Vampire Empire.’ Although they recorded for only some days, in Adrianne’s recollection, “It felt like we were together forever.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Liam says: Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker is back at it again with another gorgeous solo album. Painstakingly beautiful and incredibly intimate, these twelve tracks once again prove that Lenker is one of the best songwriters of our generation - a must buy!

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Real House
    2. Sadness As A Gift
    3. Fool
    4. No Machine
    5. Free Treasure
    6. Vampire Empire
    7. Evol
    8. Candleflame
    9. Already Lost
    10. Cell Phone Says
    11. Donut Seam
    12. Ruined

    Adrianne Lenker & Buck Meek

    A Sides And B Sides - 2023 Reissue

      The summer after graduating from Berklee College of Music, Adrianne Lenker moved to New York City. She met Buck Meek the day she moved there, at a corner market called Mr. Kiwi (although, technically they had already played a show together in Boston, so they recognized each other but weren’t sure from where). The two explored the city by bicycle and eventually began to play songs together. "It was one of those friendships that developed extremely fast where suddenly you're each other's best friend," Lenker says. "We hung out every day from the moment we met.”

      Meek’s off-kilter, piercing guitar licks and solos are the perfect juxtaposition to bring Lenker’s melodic and stirring vocals and lyrics to fruition. "I guess what struck me as a songwriter then was that her songs all seemed to be really human, and really emotional, and really honest — vulnerable — but at the same time they all somehow had this ineffable quality," Meek says. "Like, all of that human content was serving as a medium for something beyond.”

      Soon they picked up a white conversion van, named her Bonnie, and made touring their whole lives. In 2014, songs crafted on the road were captured on two EPs released under the Buck and Anne moniker: one called a-sides and one called b-sides. Both warm, acoustic affairs.

      In the ensuing years, Adrianne and Buck joined with Max Oleartchik and James Krivchenia to form Big Thief, one of the most beloved bands in music today. a-sides and b-sides provide an early glimpse at what was soon to come, while standing on their own as documents of a deeply meaningful time in the creative lives of Lenker and Meek.


      TRACK LISTING

      01. Jonathan 2:09
      02. Money 3:57
      03. Kerina 2:51
      04. Miss Misty 2:48
      05. Indiana 2:37
      06. Yuki Onna 3:04
      07. I Still Hear You 3:26
      08. Angels 4:08
      09. A Better Time To Meet 3:09
      10. Carolina 2:30
      11. New York City 3:49
      12. Ringing Bells 3:49
      13. Row 1:51
      14. Wallet 3:42

      Adrianne Lenker

      Songs And Instrumentals

        '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.

        The album’s stunning artwork are watercolor paintings done by Adrianne’s grandmother, Diane Lee.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: There really is no stopping Lenker is there? (and why indeed would you want to?) 'Songs And Instrumentals' carries on the runaway success of Lenkers band, Big Thief but moves into the more subtle recesses of her songwriting prowess. Brittle in parts, but shining throughout, this is an accomplished and immersive outing.

        TRACK LISTING

        Songs
        1. Two Reverse
        2. Ingydar
        3. Anything
        4. Forwards Beckon Rebound
        5. Heavy Focus
        6. Half Return
        7. Come
        8. Zombie Girl
        9. Not A Lot, Just Forever
        10. Dragon Eyes
        11. My Angel

        Instrumentals
        1. Music For Indigo
        2. Mostly Chimes

        Adrianne Lenker

        Abysskiss

          Adrianne Lenker has been writing songs since she was 10 years old. Her "back story" has been well documented in various interviews and profiles for Big Thief over the last 3 years. Despite, or more likely because of the constant touring and studio work, the last few years have been some of the most prolific for Lenker as a writer. Songs pop out at soundcheck. They pop out on late night drives between cities. They pop out in green rooms, hotel stairwells, gardens, and kitchens around the world.

          In the hands of Lenker song writing is not an old dead craft. It is alive. It is vital. With little regard for standard album cycle practice or the idea of resting at all, Lenker set out to make a document. Songs can be slippery and following a 2+ years on the road with Big Thief, Lenker felt a growing need to document this time in her life in an intimate, immediate way. The result is her new album, Abysskiss.

          "I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years,” explains Lenker. "My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed."

          Following a two-week road trip through the southwestern United States, Lenker headed into the studio with long-time friend Luke Temple. Temple put on his loosely fitting, bright orange, 100% wool producer hat and for one week they made music. The songs chosen for this collection were the songs that felt the most alive in the room. These are not castaways or B-sides. Some of these songs have been alive for years while some were written just days before the session. Some will appear in different future forms, some will not. The thread that connects these songs is not something that can easily be put down in words. Intuition connects these songs. They are a record of a time.

          With this collection, Lenker further illuminates to the listening public what those close to her already know; here we have a songwriter of the highest order, following her voice and the greater Voices that pass through her with an unflinching openness and clarity of translation.


          TRACK LISTING

          01. Terminal Paradise
          02. From
          03. Womb
          04. Out Of Your Mind
          05. Cradle
          06. Symbol
          07. Blue And Red Horses
          08. Abyss Kiss
          09. What Can You Say
          10. 10 Miles 


          Latest Pre-Sales

          159 NEW ITEMS

          E-newsletter —
          Sign up
          Back to top