Big Thief have written so many great albums in such a short span of time, it’s almost hard to fathom just how quickly they churn out original music. Before you can reflect on it for too long, the Grammy-nominated folk quartet have returned today to quell your disbelief with another new single. This one is called “Certainty” and you can stream it below.
According to Big Thief, “Certainty” came together rather quickly one day during a power outage at Flying Cloud Studios. They were about to cook up breakfast for dinner — because, you know, that’s just how lackadaisical and charming their lives are — when Buck Meek spotted Adrianne Lenker writing a new song on the porch. It was day three of the power outage and, as he recalls it, their creativity was starting to bubble over once again.
“I sat with her and we finished it together, with the rain falling from the gutters splashing over our guitars,” recounted Meek in a statement. “James and Sam saw us writing, and quickly set up a four track tape machine in the kitchen, powered by the F250 cigarette lighter out in the yard. They set up the drums by the sink, and Max plugged his bass into a bluetooth speaker set on top of the stove. Take 2 had a great bark from Sam and Hannah’s pup Jan during the solo, but we ended up going with take 3 because it took us about that long to learn the chords. Then we made pancakes and sausages and ate breakfast for dinner.”
Musically, “Certainty” is a Dylan-esque folk number that’s stripped-down and minimalist. There’s a few barely-there piano notes, tight drumming, and loose guitar chords all held together by the group’s trademark raspy vocals harmonizing over it all. It’s a welcome companion to their recent singles “Little Things” and “Sparrow” as well as the excellent two albums they released in 2019: U.F.O.F. and Two Hands.
This new single arrived just in time for fans to potentially hear it live. Big Thief’s US tour officially kicks off tonight, September 7th, in Louisville, Kentucky. The trek will see them performing live pretty much nonstop over the course of September, including a performance at Governors Ball Music Festival, where hopefully they will perform their latest songs and maybe even debut new material. Grab tickets to see Big Thief through Ticketmaster or here.