Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future

Regular price $ 31.99

Arriving two years after her band Big Thief's Top 40 breakthrough, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, Bright Future finds a solo Adrianne Lenker delving into a wide range of topics -- love, climate change, gratitude, overwhelm -- with her trademark intimate spin. While her previous solo outing, songs and instrumentals, was recorded alone with engineer Phil Weinrobe (who returns to co-produce here), Lenker decided to expand her palette for Bright Future while limiting it to mainly acoustic guitar, piano, and violin. To that end, she gathered with friends Nick Hakim (piano, voice), Josefin Runsteen (violin, voice), and Dragon alum Mat Davidson (guitars, piano, violin, voice) at Double Infinity, a remote analog studio in the New England woods. There, they recorded songs ranging from spare tracks to the semi-lively singalong "Sadness as a Gift," quirky electric-guitar song "Fool," howling acoustic jam "Vampire Empire" (a song previously recorded by Big Thief), and campfire climate-catastrophe ditty "Donut Stream," which warmly reasons, "This whole world is dyin'/Don't it seem like a good time for swimmin'/Before all the water disappears?" To set the stage, though, Lenker opens the album with "Real House," a hushed tearjerker of a walk down memory lane that remembers things like wanting to be an inventor, the first time she saw her mother cry, and contemplating "dying unprepared" after watching a scary film when she was seven. A showstopper at track one, it's essentially an a cappella performance, with a fragile-voiced, lilting Lenker backed only by minimal piano chords and rare flecks of violin. The album is bookended by "Real House" and "Ruined," which leaves listeners on a similarly touching note. Nearly as whisper-quiet as the opener, it's a solo performance consisting of voice ("Can't get enough of you/You come around I'm ruined"), piano, and touches of mystical crystal. An arguable highlight among highlights along the way is the tender "Evol," one of Lenker's "list songs" that, in this instance, plays with reversed words (teach, cheat; part, trap; kiss, sick; etc.). Having said that, Bright Future is the type of no-filter album with enough variety and poignancy that each song is bound to be somebody's favorite.

Real House    
Sadness As A Gift    
Fool    
No Machine    
Free Treasure    
Vampire Empire    
Evol    
Candle Flame    
Already Lost    
Cell Phone Says    
Donut Seam    
Ruined