The Ordinary Brilliance of Big Thief

The Ordinary Brilliance of Big Thief

Ten years ago, a week after I graduated from college, I bought a white Jeep off Craigslist that was older than I was. It cost eight hundred dollars, which was less than the price of a plane ticket plus the fee for shipping my things home, to Texas, from Virginia. I was supposed to pick up the Jeep in an apple orchard in the Shenandoah Valley. Thinking of some secondhand advice I’d heard about men and vehicular transactions, I asked my friend Walt, a Ph.D. student, to come with me. We left Charlottesville in his car, on an oppressively lush summer day, and the back roads were strange and dappled; sunlight knifed through the trees in shards. Some spell came over us as we drove, even though everything was so ordinary that we hardly had anything to say. That long afternoon—and a few other handfuls of time like it, all of them moments of chance existential intimacy—is filed in the back of my mind as proof of something that I can’t put my finger on. And I think about it almost every time I listen to the band Big Thief.To get more news about The Great Thief, you can visit freewebnovel official website.

Big Thief was formed in Brooklyn, but none of its members lives there. They live mostly on the road, touring for up to ten months at a time. Onstage, they move like an organism without a center, as if they’ve got in-ear microphones that allow them to hear one another thinking. They wear T-shirts and worn denim, and they give off a day-three-of-a-camping-trip vibe, playing folkish indie rock that sounds like something you’d chance upon while you had no cell service.

Big Thief still has a small following, relatively speaking. When they were putting their first album together, around four years ago, the lead singer, Adrianne Lenker, waited tables, and the guitarist, Buck Meek, worked as a bike messenger. But, after releasing four albums in three years—including two of them, “U.F.O.F.” and “Two Hands,” in the past seven months—the band has come into startling focus. In October, Big Thief played a sold-out show at Brooklyn Steel, which has a capacity of about eighteen hundred people, and then two nights at Webster Hall, which holds about a thousand three hundred and fifty. At Brooklyn Steel, Lenker marvelled at the novel experience of having someone help tune her guitars. The crowd swayed in the dark, with hardly any cell phones held up to record.

Lenker has a buzz cut; her voice is plaintive and nervy. She was born in Indiana, on a Christian commune. Her parents met there but left when Lenker was four, having realized that the group they’d joined was a cult. The family drove around the Midwest in a blue van, searching and recovering. When she was six, Lenker started playing the guitar. In an interview with Pitchfork, she recalled the lyrics to the first song she ever wrote, at the age of eight. It was about sadness and pressure: “The pile of things I got to do stacks up to the sun. I’m angry at the world. I just want this feeling to be gone.” Her parents divorced, and her father started acting as her manager: she recorded two pop albums in her early teens, and then, at sixteen, distanced herself from her father. She got her G.E.D. and then a scholarship to Berklee School of Music, in Boston. She started there in 2008.

Four years later, after graduation, she moved to New York without a job or a place to live. She found both on her first day in the city, then stopped into a bodega and saw someone she thought she recognized. It was Meek—she’d played a show with him once in Boston. They started hanging out every day, and then performing wherever they could—at Prospect Park, on subway platforms. They recorded a couple of EPs together and travelled around the country, touring in a van they’d named Bonnie. (They were briefly married but have since divorced.) Lenker told NPR that she felt, back then, that she’d already accomplished what she wanted. They weren’t “seeking out a sparkly career,” she said; they just wanted “to basically do what we are doing.” She described the comfort of making popcorn for dinner in the van late at night. “We didn’t need anything else,” she said. “I felt rich.”