Published Oct 04, 2018Not enough people talk about how damn prolific Adrianne Lenker is. The singer-songwriter's sombre, plaintive folk rock tunes propelled her band Big Thief to indie stardom with the one-two punch of albums Masterpiece and Capacity, in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and a quick Google search can find several other projects and loosies stretching back only a few years. So the existence of abysskiss, her latest record under her own name, should be no surprise, and neither should its quality.
The songs of Big Thief aren't particularly ornate, yet the solo material of abysskiss is stripped down even further. Big Thief's best moments are when Lenker serves as an intimate, guiding force through the band's rock overtones, and she serves a similar role here through abysskiss's wistful folk. It would take little-to-no tinkering to fit tracks like "cradle" and "blue and red horses" on a Big Thief record, but tracks like "what can you say" and "10 miles" possess a tender meandering quality to them that adds a new dimension to Lenker's songwriting, choosing to soothe rather than ignite.
"10 miles," the album's closing track, is also its most powerful — the titular distance is hardly a long one, but Lenker makes it sound like she's talking to someone on the other side of the planet.
abysskiss continues to keep Lenker's songwriting hot streak going — more than enough to tide us over until the next Big Thief record. (Saddle Creek)