One of the most talked about indie acts today, BIG THIEF announces two intimate New Zealand shows in May 2020. The news comes at a pivotal time for the Brooklyn-based quartet, who have lived through a mammoth year involving two critically acclaimed albums; one of which (U.F.O.F.) received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album while the following October release (Two Hands) only accelerated momentum for the group. Pitchfork perhaps put it most accurately, describing Two Hands as a “landmark album” from a band that “feels, at this moment, totally invincible”.
Catch Big Thief live in Auckland (May 25 - Powerstation) and Wellington (26 May - San Fran) as they celebrate the release of U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, both albums are out now on 4AD. The band will be supported by folk pop singer-songwriter INDIGO SPARKE on both dates.
Tickets for all shows go on sale at 12pm, Tuesday December 10.
My Live Nation members may also secure tickets first during the pre-sale beginning 12pm, Friday December 6.
For complete tour and ticket information, visit: livenation.co.nz.
30 miles west of El Paso, surrounded by 3,000 acres of pecan orchards and only a stone’s throw from the Mexican border, the band Big Thief (a.k.a. Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, Max Oleartchik, and James Krivchenia) set up their instruments as close together as possible to capture their most important collection of songs yet. The band had only just finished work on their third album, U.F.O.F. - “the celestial twin” - days before in a cabin studio in the woods of Washington State. Now it was time to birth U.F.O.F.’s sister album - “the earth twin”- Two Hands.
In sharp contrast to the wet environment of the U.F.O.F. session, the southwestern Sonic Ranch studio was chosen for its vast desert location. The 105-degree weather boiled away any clinging memories of the green trees and wet air of the last session. Two Hands had to be completely different— an album about the Earth and the bones beneath it. The songs were recorded live with almost no overdubs. All but two songs feature entirely live vocal takes, leaving Adrianne’s voice suspended above the mix in dry air, raw and vulnerable as ever. Where U.F.O.F. layered mysterious sounds and effects for levitation, Two Hands grounds itself on dried-out, cracked desert dirt.
Anybody who has borne witness to Big Thief in the wild will find songs they recognize here. Much of the album’s tracks (“The Toy”, “Those Girls”, “Shoulders”, “Not”, “Cut My Hair”) have been live staples for years. “Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old,” says Adrianne. “Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.”
Lyrically this can be felt in the poetic blur of the internal and external. These are political songs without political language. They explore the collective wounds of our Earth. Abstractions of the personal hint at war, environmental destruction, and the traumas that fuel it. Lyrics like “And the blood of the man who killed my mother with his hands is in me/ it’s in me/ in my veins” are genuine attempts to point the listener towards the very real dangers that face our mother planet. When Adrianne sings “Please wake up,” she’s talking directly to the audience. “Attention is power,” she says. “I believe you can manifest something on the other side of the world just by using your power well.”