Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Albums of the Year # 43 Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss

One of the most talented songwriters in the world today, Adrianne Lenker, took some time off her day job with Big Thief and produced a lovely haunting album called abysskiss. Here's what I wrote about it in October.

Adrianne Lenker is building herself a remarkable legacy in a remarkably short time. As leader of Big Thief, the Brooklyn based four-piece, she's helped shape two of the most notable albums of the last couple of years in Masterpiece and Capacity, and now she's back again, (astonishingly soon), with a solo record abysskiss. It's one of the best records of an abundant harvest crop released for early autumn.

Appropriately it's a simpler record instrumentally than either of the Big Thief albums, the band sound cut away, with songs stripped pretty much to the bone of circling acoustic guitar, and Lenker's keening sorrowful voice.

But the songs themselves are every bit as strong as those on Masterpiece and Capacity. In many respects it's difficult to divine if Lenker is a glass half full or glass half empty type. The things she writes are consistently imbued with pain, with the knowledge of how we can mistreat and abuse each other, but at the same time they're also grained with a maternal, healing grace.

In some respects she shares some things in common with Cat Power yesterday's Song of the Day artist on here . There's a simplicity in her work and in that simplicity lies an essential, minimalist beauty. Lenker is a star in the making. Perhaps somewhere along the line she'll get some of the mainstream adulation that Chan Marshall's on the receiving end of now. She'll certainly have earned it by the time it comes along. abykiss, like its predecessors, is just magnificent.


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