Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief Fame

The New Yorker October 19, 2020 pp48-55. |Onward and Upward with the Arts|”OPENED UP” “The raw honesty of Adrianne Lenker’s music”. “Big Thief and on her solo records, she has always been most interest in making emotional connections.” By Amanda Petrusich



Image credit uncut.co.uk


2244, although an avid listener of many musical genres only infrequently finds interest in profiles of musicians. Having casually listened to Big Thief (BT) in the last year, 2244 was compelled to read about the creative force behind much of BT unbeknownst as Adrianne Lenker. This is an interesting read in that Adrianne, born in 1991 in Indianapolis but raised in Minnesota, brings confessional lyrics, basic musicality and unpretentious production all true to her roots.

Summary of the Article

Without delving into her upbringing and personal life, which interesting and well-covered by Amanda Petrusich’s writing, it is safe to say that Adrianne's music stems at least partly from her backwoods-homelife, relationships, musical experiences and influences and the rest from within. She seems to reach into her bank of memories as she composes and in doing so capsulizes and imortalizes her current interpretations of past, often intimate, experiences. With the exception of following Elliott Smith and guitar influences of Pat Metheny and Michael Hedges you don't hear more traditional folk influences.

Some Quotes from the Article

“Lenker is a quick and instinctive writer, and even under normal circumstances her songs are raw and unfussy-it can feel as if they were dug up whole, like a carrot from the garden.”

“…She writes music from this place that’s very intuitive and fearless, and she has confidence that there’s some kind of spirit or force that she can listen to.”

About her sexuality she says “But hopefully we move into a place where it’s like, You’re what? Why are saying what you are?”

One song 'Paul' is “about having a hard time loving another person.” Verse: “I realized there was no one who could kiss away my s@#t” “I’m burning for you, baby, since the moment I left” Chorus: “I’ll be your morning bright, good night, shadow machine” “I’ll be your record player, baby, if you know what I mean” “I’ll be a real tough cookie with the whisky breath” “I’ll be a killer and a thriller and the cause of our death”

Carly Rae Jepsen notes “I came across ‘Paul’ while I was in Italy for a solo adventure trip.” “The lyrics spoke to me like a journal entry would. She’s brilliantly confessional.”

Time and loss are favorite topics according to Adrianne “I like my songs to be reminders of certain things that I don’t want to forget.”

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