Big Thief

PHOTO CREDIT: ADRIANNE LENKER

It is very easy to make Big Thief all about Adrianne Lenker. She is an amazing talent with a captivating backstory. Rest assured, Buck Meek’s wonderful guitar work is every bit as important. Now, Meek is set to release his debut solo LP via the fine folks at Keeled Scales.

Buck Meek’s songs are for the lost dogs of honest mechanics, good guys and girls born into a life of crime, runaways, snow spirits, the ghosts of Central Park, unsung diving-board stars, the affection shared through gambling, and so on. Bred in Texas, more bread in New York City, Meek spins outlaw ballads and quotidian fairy tales into a yarn.

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Buck Meek is on Instagram

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Big Thief – Capacity (album review)

by Woody on June 5, 2017

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The PR pic of lead singer Adrianne Lenker for Capacity reminds me of Sigourney Weaver in Alien 3. Any time I see a woman with a buzz I circle back to one of my favorite characters of all time, Ripley. Her combo of resilience and perseverance among other traits was what made her such a compelling character. Well, resilient and perseverance are two excellent words to use to describe Capacity’s general tone.

If their debut, Masterpiece, hooked me; Capacity yanked me on the boat. It is an absolute brilliant and stunning album. Lenker’s back story is excellently detailed in this Pitchfork piece. And these experiences seem to pop up throughout the album, not so much as biographical, but more inspirational. Sort of how an artist paints from his heart when painting a picture but isn’t painting the exact scene as inspiration.

Shark Smile is easily my favorite Big Thief tune and one of my favorite tunes of 2017. Its a tune of a fateful car ride where one half of the couple passes away leaving the protagonist, still alive, wishes to join her lover in the after life. The song builds from nearly a minute of squealing guitar before easing into his ambling guitar riff consistent with a lazy car ride. It is as perfect a tune that you’ll hear this year.

While Lenker deserves all the accolades she receives, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Buck Meek’s work on guitar. His riffs bring Lenker’s words to life. They have this symbiotic relationship that Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller have with Mount Moriah.

Capacity is out this coming Friday and is one of the best albums you’re going to hear this year.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Big Thief is here

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Photo credit: Shervin Lainez

Big Thief is set to follow up their 2016 debut, aptly named Masterpiece. I wore that album out last year and caught a real nice set in Evanston. The fine folks at Saddle Creek will be releasing Capacity on June 9th. Enjoy the fantastic video for lead single, Mythological Beauty below and check out a cool interview she did at NPR w/ Bob Boilen.

The trails that the band takes us down on Capacity are overgrown with a wilderness of souls. These are carnivorous stories, with pangs of sadness and joy. Singer and guitarist Adrianne Lenker shows us the gentle side of being ripped open, and then recounts the second act of pulling oneself back together to prepare for it all to happen again.

“There is a darker darkness and a lighter light on this album,” reveals Lenker. “The songs search for a deeper level of self-acceptance, to embrace the world within and without. I think Masterpiece began that process, as a first reaction from inside the pain, and Capacity continues that examination with a wider perspective.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Big Thief is here

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Big Thief – Masterpiece (album review)

by Woody on May 31, 2016

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Big Thief is a quartet newly signed to Saddle Creek and Masterpiece is their debut. They are fronted by Adrianne Lenker and she wrapped up this album in way that would put any music journalist* to shame. Here’s what she said, the songs are about, “the process of harnessing pain, loss, and love, while simultaneously letting go, looking into your own eyes through someone else’s, and being okay with the inevitability of death,”

With their tunes of love lost, it is easy to see the similarity to someone who is one of their biggest fans, Sharon Van Etten. But the band that comes to mind for me is Mount Moriah. Not so much in their sound but they both have an excellent guitarist that adds so much to the bands’ sound. Buck Meek is the guitarist in question here, and like Jenks Miller, he gets some incredible tones from his guitar.

Lenker and Meek have a real nice thing going on here. They are on the road now and playing a couple of sets here in Chicago, including one at Space. I’m really looking forward to hearing them live.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Big Thief is here

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Big Thief sign to Saddle Creek, release Masterpiece

February 19, 2016

The video below contains a scene of something so frightening that I almost turned it off. Decapitated bodies? Donald Trump? A PuppyMonkeyBaby? Nope none of those. They show the god damned Long Island Expressway, a road I grew up driving on and a road I detest. I fought through that hideous image and really love […]

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