Big Thief – Masterpiece

A treasure trove of story and seduction...

Another week, yet another Brooklyn folk soaked indie quartet… but you like earthy indie, you remind yourself, so you put it on anyway. The pained vocals of Adrianne Lenker doth appear and take you, the humble listener, by the hand and suddenly leads you on a twilight journey of longing and love.

Simply put, Big Thief’s debut is a most pleasant surprise; a rich treasure trove of story and seduction. Being human we like stories, and this twelve-track collection is luckily filled with them, every song a tiny world to explore. This is felt most keenly on standout number ‘Paul’, musically the most gentle of tracks but lyrically the most devastating. One must respect that ‘ol switcheroo.

Stylistically the album gently treads multiple styles; Americana, indie, lo-fi, and country, while commendably keeping its balance. This gumbo of stateside influences ensures ‘Masterpiece’ doesn’t fall into straightforward bedroom confessional territory and instead manages to deliver its emotional blows with varying attack. It basically mix-martial arts you right in them there feels of yours.

It’s not all blue Monday vibes though, with the belting ‘Humans’ letting the group unleash some Sonic Youth textures while ‘Real Love’ is classic pissed noughties indie done just right. Much like Philadelphia’s Hop Along the group have managed to infuse occasional explosions of guitar with an emotive heart too often missing from the scene. It’s big, it’s clever, it’s Big Thief. Go visit.


Words: Sam Walker-Smart

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