When they first emerged as one of the most prolific new bands in indie rock, Big Thief’s superpower was making spare, delicate music that quietly held the power to devastate. Their first albums, like 2016’s Masterpiece and the following year’s Capacity, boasted the type of music you’d hear in the background at a coffee shop or in a Warby Parker, oblivious to its catastrophic abilities. Upon deeper listening, however, the stories told through the guttural vocals of Adrianne Lenker could shake you to your core.
With the release of their new double album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, out Friday (February 11th), Big Thief have done the virtually impossible by making five great records in the same number of years. And at an ambitious 20 tracks long with over 90 minutes of runtime, Dragon could easily feel overstuffed had a lesser band attempted the same feat. But songwriting seems to come to the members of Big Thief like a river: Constantly in motion, entrancing, and — most importantly — evolving as it passes through different settings.
Big Thief have pulled off putting out so much music in such a short amount of time because their past three records have boasted a distinct sonic ambience. U.F.O.F., the first of two albums the band released in 2019, adhered to its cosmic title with an air of celestial eeriness; Its successor, Two Hands, took on a grittier and grungier tone.