Album of the Week: Adrianne Lenker, 'songs'

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Adrianne Lenker, 'songs'
Adrianne Lenker, 'songs' (4AD)
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David Safar - Album of the Week: Adrianne Lenker, 'songs and instrumentals'
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The lead singer and guitarist from Big Thief didn't plan to record and release an album after the pandemic took the band off the road. Yet, the songs came calling as Adrianne Lenker isolated in a cabin in Massachusetts with an 8 track Otari tape machine. The new album is a mix of folk songs, sound collages, and Lenker's distinct voice making the album stand apart from her work with Big Thief.

The title reflects the beautiful simplicity behind the personal stories you hear on the new album songs. Along with its companion release, instrumentals, songs has become one of the most celebrated new releases of the year. Almost entirely written in isolation, you can hear the intimacy of the process through the recordings.

The album is arranged in a way that keeps you listening from the rolling momentum of opener "two reverse" to the mid-album "zombie girl" that has been performed by Big Thief. It's a cycle of organic growth through personal narratives and decomposed arrangements. Make time to listen to instrumentals alongside songs and you hear Lenker's musical world come to life.

Adrianne Lenker's new album songs (along with instrumentals) is out now on 4AD Records.

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2 Photos

  • Big Thief in The Current studio
    Adrianne Lenker performing in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan/MPR)
  • Big Thief in The Current studio
    Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek performing in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan/MPR)