Big Thief - Two Hands
It is (was) folking Friday! The biggest folking Friday for a while. Big Thief released their fourth LP, Two Hands, and it is sort of what you’d expect. Wonky, extremely comforting, and very very warm. It’s sad enough to be in tune with the season, but the warmth is enough to carry you through these turbulent weeks of flu, chills and unexpected, abrasive rain showers. The guitar purrs alongside the rhythm and ethereal, nostalgic vocals throughout the album. Album track ‘Two Hands’ has a particularly nice sparsity – Adrianne’s wispy birdsong rides a soft dynamic wave alongside a returning thump of a bass and a swirling guitar part.
‘Those Girls’ has a particularly pleasant mellow flattened 60s bass, exploratory ripple guitars and enough cerebral progressions to keep you interested. It’s a lovely, polite pop-song which has an addictive lyrical chorus. The American accent is however, unshakeable, running throughout the music, permeating not just the vocals but the guitar-work too. It feels like the tantalizing Britishness is forever in their sights- but if they were to achieve it, it’d probably make Big Thief less great.
Fragile melodies and intonations gently wrap themselves around the waves of fuzzy guitar and weighty bass and drums. The hollow, icicle-like synth slipping into the mix on odd occasions does wonders for the sound. Every progression feels imaginative yet natural, it demonstrates a band who are perfectly capable and have a flair for songwriting.
Their last album, U.F.O.F feels like a not too distant memory, only having been released in March of this year. The two albums work in tandem and as the band themselves have admitted – U.F.O.F’s focus was to create a multi-levelled textured soundscape, whereas Two Hands is to capture more of a performance- with a perhaps closer level of intimacy. The intimacy is certainly there, they feel close, and they make the space around you feel smaller, warmer and it is very familiar. Overall, it’s a blissful, autumnal folk-record that boasts impressive intimacy, depth and is complimented with a breadth of sounds.
Listen to the album below: