Big Thief – Capacity – Album Review
Released 9th June 2017 on Saddle Creek
The follow up to last year’s Masterpiece, this album was recorded in the depths of winter in Upstate New York with producer Andrew Sarlo. Front woman Adrianne Lenker puts her unique stamp on the album with her lush and soft vocal style, reminiscent of the Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins. The vibe is less country twinged though, with a traditional arrangement of guitar, bass and drums.
It starts with the quiet, plucked guitar of Pretty Things along with gentle vocals. It’s all very hushed and mellow, and largely it continues in similar fashion.
‘There’s a woman inside of me, there’s one inside of you too, and she don’t always do pretty things’ – Pretty Things
Shark Smile ups the tempo a little with electric guitar and drum solo to start. It’s a wake up call after the gentle beginning, but then reverts with a simple guitar line carrying the track. Lead single Mythological Beauty is buried at track seven, but is worth the wait and is a definite highlight.
‘I built a ladder out of metal pieces
Father was working hard
Standing beneath the oak tree by the front door
You were inside baking bread
Sister came out and put her arms around me
Blood gushing from my head ‘ – Mythological Beauty
This is a mood album, a gentle and soothing effort. The songs are based around guitar and vocals with little deviation. It could do with more variation in sound, as one track easily bleeds into the next but it is enjoyable throughout.
01. Pretty Things
02. Shark Smile
06. Great White Shark
07. Mythological Beauty
11. Black Diamonds
Big Thief are Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums)