Adrianne Lenker: Brilliant Future Album Assessment


Two songs on Adrianne Lenker’s Brilliant Future start with the woosh of a tape machine settling into its appropriate pace. The gamers generally murmur amongst themselves as a track will get going or winds down; Lenker’s voice sometimes grows distant, as if she had been turning away from the mic, then rises in quantity as she leans ahead once more. At first blush, these audible moments of calibration sign a sure old-school authenticity. The Massive Thief singer-songwriter minimize her new album straight to tape, identical to the final one, and it has the air of an unadulterated doc of the music because it was carried out within the studio.

Beneath the floor, these results recommend a extra advanced relationship between the recording and the music, drawing consideration to the artifice and happenstance of what we’re listening to. By demonstrating so explicitly that that is how the music sounded in this room, on this day, they’re additionally implying that it may need sounded fairly completely different in one other place, one other time. The musicians play wispy outlines of folks rock, giving simply as a lot consideration to the unfavorable areas because the notes you really hear. The aesthetic fits the fabric. Lenker’s songs discover magnificence within the try to provide reminiscence strong form: to carry it in a single’s palms like a wounded chook that sat nonetheless when the others flew away, and coax it with a candy melody into sticking round some time longer. Brilliant Future is like an try to carry the recollections of the songs themselves, to cease their wild wings from beating for a second and get an excellent look earlier than they vanish within the air.

For all of the shaggy-dog presentation of her essential band, Lenker usually approaches her songs with disciplined consideration to type and financial system, however opener “Actual Home” is one thing completely different. Its chords float alongside with out clear paths of stress and launch; its lyrics are associative quite than linear. Within the second verse, a surreal picture stands in for emotions not but addressed straight: “Stars shine like tears on the evening’s face.” Finally, the track reveals its topic as Lenker’s mom, and the fog of ambiguity across the previous lyrics begins to clear. By the ultimate traces, a devastating recounting of the primary time Lenker noticed her cry, we’ve moved wholly out of the spectral realm and into on a regular basis heartbreak.

Lenker recorded Brilliant Future with accompaniment from Philip Weinrobe, her engineer and co-producer, in addition to singer-songwriter and frequent Massive Thief collaborator Mat Davidson, violinist and percussionist Josefin Runsteen, and alt-R&B auteur Nick Hakim. They did a whole lot of passing round devices: The album’s primary palette is voice, guitar, piano, and violin, every of which is credited to not less than two completely different performers at numerous factors. (Runsteen and Lenker’s brother Noah additionally play occasional percussion.) The free-flowing and intuitive nature of the classes is obvious within the recordings, which have the amiable looseness of first takes. You get the sense, generally, that they’re determining a track’s best association as they monitor it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *