"songs" by Adrianne Lenker
The latest release from Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker, “songs,” part of a dual release with her other collection “instrumentals,” is the epitome of making the best out of a bad situation. “Songs” was recorded in April before the abrupt end to Big Thief’s tour in March, and what would turn into a COVID fueled period of isolation across the world. What’s unique about this album isn’t just the circumstances it was under but the recording set up Lenker employed. The recording, mixing, and mastering on “songs” is all analog. This means the rain on “come” and other songs is genuinely happening in real time as Adrianne Lenker plucks out guitar strings in a one room cabin in the mountains. Lenker’s talent and Philip Weinrobe’s masterful engineering come together to create a totally unique sound on this album that is warm, spacious, and immediate. By taking on the labor and resource intensive challenge of an analog release (although there are digital masters of it on streaming services) the pair truly make lemons into lemonade, or in this case a global pandemic and challenging recording style into an album unlike anything being released right now.