“You’re transported into its solitude and greeted by a soundtrack that’s simultaneously cathartic and healing. songs is incredible. I love it so much.”
With plans for her band Big Thief shelved due to COVID, Adrianne Lenker releases her new solo album, the modestly titled songs. With the pandemic going on, Adrianne decided to hide away in a cabin and record some music. Upon her return to society, she emerged with one of the most cohesive, best singer-songwriter records of the year.
The trailing sweep of acoustic melodies opens ‘two reverse’ with a warmness that lasts throughout songs. As the notes continue to reverberate beyond the wooden walls of the cabin, Adrianne’s lyrics detail an innocence and eccentricity you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. From Grandmother Juniper to admitting feelings of want, the opening track provides an intimate look into her mind. References to wood and nature highlight the combination of instrument and setting, which creates a truly insular sound. The fall of rain on ‘come’ is calming, acting as a sedative against the otherwise haunting instrumental.
What I love about the title is how reserved it is. Nothing is given away other than that are indeed some songs involved, yet somehow it makes checking out the record even more tempting. Something I’m so happy to have fallen for. Considering Adrianne removed herself from the world, you’d assume a disconnect would exist between songs and the listener. However, the record has a brilliant quality to it that maintains a distance yet slowly forms a bond with you. ‘forwards beckon rebound’ illustrates this beautifully, as its chorus swells towards and away from you amongst a sea of autumnal melodies.
Lead single ‘anything’ is a gorgeous display of naked emotion. Quickly strummed guitars pick strings that almost blur into one another, acting as a deterrent from the lyrics that sing a blend of heart-breaking admissions of wanting to be with a lover again, and a story of being bitten by a dog and having to go to the ER. The stories that are woven together shouldn’t fit as well as they do, but it helps strengthen the bond between artist and listener.
Saying that, it almost sounds as if the record was intended for Adrianne’s ears only, and we’re fortunate to have snuck in a listen. It’s not polished and proudly contains every press of the strings, the creak of the floorboards which only elevates the atmosphere of it all. You’re transported into its solitude and greeted by a soundtrack that’s simultaneously cathartic and healing. songs is incredible. I love it so much.