Big Thief – “Not”

Big Thief blew a lot of listeners’ minds with this year’s supernaturally beautiful U.F.O.F., and recently they blew a few more minds by mailing fans a surprise 7″ with two new songs. Well, get ready to have your mind blown yet again, if you have any mind left to blow: This fall, Big Thief are releasing their second full-length album of 2019. Pretty generous of them! They’re rendering their moniker a misnomer in real-time!

Two Hands is out 10/11, the date inscribed on that surprise 7″. The above image is the cover art. It was conceived as a sister album to U.F.O.F. — a twin sister, even, with U.F.O.F. billed as “the celestial twin” and Two Hands “the earth twin.” Big Thief recorded the album at Sonic Ranch in the border town of Tornillo, Texas, where Bon Iver did the majority of their new i,i. Sessions began just days after they wrapped up U.F.O.F. in the forests of Washington State. Producer Andrew Sarlo and engineer Dom Monks assisted Big Thief on both albums.

The pointedly raw Two Hands reportedly eschews U.F.O.F.‘s spectral overdubs in favor of almost entirely live recordings. All but two tracks feature Adrianne Lenker’s live vocal takes. In a press release, she proclaims, “Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old. Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.” The same release instructs, “While you listen, let your own two hands rest in front of your body with palms facing inward and see what power grows between them.”

You can definitely hear the promised rawness on the supremely rad lead single “Not.” With her usual poetic touch, Lenker rattles off a series of increasingly intense negations: “It’s not the energy reeling/ Nor the lines in your face/ Nor the clouds on the ceiling/ Nor the clouds in space.” As her list of things it’s not continues to expand, the music progresses into a blaze of glory with some nasty lead guitar work and feedback galore. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I believe Big Thief are at their best when rocking the fuck out, and they definitely do so on “Not.”

Listen below, where you can also find the Two Hands tracklist and Big Thief’s newly extended tour dates.

TRACKLIST:
01 “Rock And Sing”
02 “Forgotten Eyes”
03 “The Toy”
04 “Two Hands”
05 “Those Girls”
06 “Shoulders”
07 “Not”
08 “Wolf”
09 “Replaced”
10 “Cut My Hair”

TOUR DATES:
08/14 – Saint-malo, FR @ Route du Rock
08/16 – Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop Festival
08/17 – Wales, UK @ Green Man Festival
08/19 – London, UK @ Bush Hall
10/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
10/10 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/11 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)
10/12 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
10/13 – Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theatre
10/15 – Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe (SOLD OUT)
10/16 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre (SOLD OUT)
10/17 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
10/18 – Chicago, IL @ Metro (SOLD OUT)
10/19 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee
10/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/24 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
10/25 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
10/26 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
10/28 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore (SOLD OUT)
10/29 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
10/0 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
11/01 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
11/02 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
11/04 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
11/05 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
11/07 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
11/08 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
11/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/10 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
11/11 – Columbus, OH @ The Athenaeum Theatre
02/17 – Lisbon, PT @ LAV
02/18 – Porto, PT @ Hard Club
02/19 – Madrid, ES @ Joy Eslava
02/20 – Barcelona, ES @ La 2 de Apolo
02/22 – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
02/23 – Milan, IT @ Magnolia
02/24 – Lyon, FR @ Epicerie Moderne
02/25 – Paris, FR @ Cabaret Sauvage
02/27 – London, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
02/29 – Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
03/01 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
03/02 – Glasgow, UK @ Old Fruitmarket
03/05 – Brussels, BE @ AB Ballroom
03/06 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
03/07 – Cologne, DE @ Luxor
03/08 – Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefährlich
03/09 – Berlin, DE @ Astra
03/11 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega Main Hall
03/12 – Gotheburg, SE @ Pustervik
03/13 – Stockholm, SE @ Debaser
03/14 – Olso, NO @ Rockefeller
03/15 – Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall

Two Hands is out 10/11 on 4AD. Pre-order it here.

Tags: Big Thief