Big Thief are heading to the UK for the first time ever.
The Brooklyn band’s short run of shows – which includes Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, and Festival No. 6 – reaches London on 6 September when they support M Ward at KOKO.
The UK shows follow a busy year for the group. Apart from releasing their debut album, ‘Masterpiece’, to acclaim (including spots on ‘NPR’s Top 30 Albums of the Year (so far)’ and Uncut’s and Newsweek’s half-year albums lists), they’ve been touring the US with Ward, Kevin Morby, Yuck, Sunflower Bean, and Eleanor Friedberger.
They’ve also played with Here We Go Magic, whose Luke Temple has recorded a 7” of solo acoustic performances by Big Thief singer and songwriter Adrianne Lenker.
Limited to 500 copies, the tour-exclusive release includes the new song ‘Dandelion’ and a reinterpretation of the track ‘Masterpiece’.
Says Lenker of the 7”: “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.”
Apart from Lenker and her long-time musical partner Buck Meek (guitar/vocals), Big Thief now includes Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums).
Their music, says Lenker, details “the process of harnessing pain, loss, and love, while simultaneously letting them go, looking into your own eyes through someone else’s, and being okay with the inevitability of death”.
Or, as fan Sharon Van Etten puts it: “Some of the most compelling songs I’ve heard in a long time. Driving songs that take you on a real journey, with intelligent stories and twist-and-turn melodies. And fun as hell live.”