Stealing the soul
Surfing the tsunami of therapy often means realising that the simplest answers are the right ones. “Write, write, it’s therapeutic”, say the couch professors. But whilst most people would do it in a small notebook that lives on their bedside table, Adrianne Lenker cures her insomnia, her ghosts of the past and present, the names in her life (Haley, Mary, Paul, Lorraine, Randy)... through songs. For the album covers of Masterpiece (2016) and Capacity (2017) Big Thief steals the most sacred memories, family snaps that show strange moments caught just a second after saying “cheese”, just when they let their guard down. That is what her songs are like too, sung with echoes of both Hope Sadoval and Joni Mitchell: comforting and strange, beautiful even though they thresh out childhood accidents and traumas (Mythological Beauty), and are recognisable as we recognise ourselves in our mothers and fathers, and they in us. Because often, not only are the simplest answers the right ones, but they are usually the same for everyone.
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