⚡ Adrianne Lenker’s “cradle” soothes the wounds it opens

“Cradle” is taken from Adrianne Lenker’s forthcoming sophomore album “abysskiss” out October 5 on Saddle Creek.

In 2017, Adrianne Lenker-fronted Big Thief introduced themselves through the aptly-named “Masterpiece”, a debut album containing within it all the magic, honesty and mystery promised by its title. With Big Thief two devastatingly heartfelt albums in, “cradle” sees Adrianne Lenker return to her solo work with care and intention.

Awash with gorgeously layered harmonies and melodic acoustic fingerstyle, “cradle” wells with Lenker’s unmistakable, crooning vocals. There’s a light airiness in comparison to Big Thief’s distinctive twangy, fuzzed-up guitars, while still packing all the vulnerability and substance of Adrianne Lenker’s previous writing: “Baby you’re still too proud to come down / Maybe I’m still too loud to hear”. The perfect balance of emotion and understanding, every lyric is natural and instinctive.

As an artist, Lenker expresses the kind of self-understanding that comes only from varied experience. Born into a cult where she spent her first few years of life, Lenker didn’t attend high school. She recorded a handful of albums with her dad in her early teens before deciding to pursue the type of music that resonated with her most. Unfamiliar with shying away from the difficult or personal, Adrianne Lenker’s bare-all approach to song-writing is never overwhelming. On “cradle’” her words are few and tender; packed with that familiar and distinctly Lenker contemplative lyricism. And as it’s cut from the same delicate, comforting cloth as Big Thief’s “Lorraine” and “Coma”, “cradle”’s tenderness soothes the wounds it opens.

Addison Paterson

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