By Maggie McPhee
Big Thief – U.F.O.F.
Big Thief consider U.F.O.F. (that last F standing for ‘Friend’) their “first record as a fully realized band.” The Brooklyn quartet—singer-guitarist Adrianne Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik and drummer James Krivchenia—spent the past four years in a world-tour whirlwind developing synchronicity of body and soul. They run together every morning and perform together every night. This closeness translates into an album at once mature and effortless, exploring weighty subjects of death and the cosmos with the intimacy of whispered candlelit conversations.
The band’s earthy folk-rock roots branch out into the sky, to be silhouetted against an ever-shifting backdrop of constellations. Here, Lenker’s stories land amongst the stars but never claim to touch them. On the album’s emotional centerpiece ‘Orange’, she posits definitions of fragility.
Despite their celestial scope, each song could take place in a bedroom. Their infinitude could last a single night. Death could be a deep dream. U.F.O.F. builds a soundscape to nurture life’s contradictions and impermanency where, as Lenker sings on opener ‘Contact’, we can be “both dreamer and dream.”
4AD, Big Thief