AOTY 2018
Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2018 Ratings: #149 / 706
User Score
Based on 122 ratings
2018 Ratings: #160
October 5, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Saddle Creek / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Drowned in Sound

Over these ten songs Lenker continues to carve out the little slices of magic that at this stage we now fully expect from her.

85
Paste

Fans of Big Thief should latch on to this record as Lenker’s evocative storytelling, oneness with nature, unique vocal tones and her ability to arouse grandeur from the mundane are all apparent on this record.

84
GIGsoup

Unlike a number of her contemporaries, Adrianne Lenker seemingly refuses to rest on her laurels as a singer-songwriter. Her natural mystique places her above the rest, and her lyrical adeptness will stand out in any crowd.

80
The Skinny

Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker is restless, inquisitive and haunting on abysskiss, her first solo effort in four years.

80
The Line of Best Fit

In ten aptly small songs Adrianne evokes our ability to vanish at the feet of nature, creating a black hole all of her own that’s both comforting and suffocating.

80
Loud and Quiet

It lacks the knockout blow of Big Thief, but undoubtedly affirms Lenker’s status as one of today’s vital songwriters. It’s a more complex development of the codependency that’s riddled and enriched her career.

80
AllMusic

The immediacy of the performances has the effect of eavesdropping on a late-night living room lament.

80
DIY

The record almost entirely just features her fiddly, intricate acoustic guitar work and wonderfully distinctive vocal, allowing her stories to worm their way into your consciousness immediately.

80
Under The Radar

By the time the consistently pleasing play comes to an end, you're thoroughly settled into the environs she has spun. Even when some songs leave you thinking there's a better, fuller version out there, abysskiss coalesces around its imperfections.

80
The 405

The perpetual motion of her moods is woven into the very fabric of the delicate but powerful abysskiss. Although the lyrics are often abstract, they document the personal travails of these times.

80
Pitchfork

The latest album from the Big Thief singer evokes a singular, solitary chill. With a great imagination for melody, Lenker conjures a world of mingled trauma and love.

80
FLOOD Magazine

Every word is deliberately strung together, even the pauses and silence carrying weight—attempting to pick them apart would be like taking away a piece of the puzzle.

70
Exclaim!

abysskiss continues to keep Lenker's songwriting hot streak going — more than enough to tide us over until the next Big Thief record.

70
American Songwriter

Lenker’s latest feels like a stopgap moment, a documentation of a songwriter working through her endless future artistic directions at the very peak of her ability.

60
NME

Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker returns with this melancholy solo project, a raw, vulnerable, confessional record.

luna128
70
Very mellow and natural compositions with absolutely gorgeous vocals and a great dark and moody atmosphere. Tracks like "from", "cradle", and "womb" reveal a telling and raw story of maternity while maintaining a beautiful and earnest delivery from Lenker, but sometimes the direction can sound really samey. Sonic standouts like "out of your mind" "symbol" provide a bit of a change of pace to keep it from all blending in to mush, but overall, ... read more
AndrewMoore
77
Lenker is one of the most talented people making music right now. The guitar work is gorgeous and lyrically her work is always of the highest caliber.
ThrowBackG
85
I love me some Adrianne Lenker! She constantly tours with Buck Meek in a travel van they bought together. I loved their work together in A/B Sides and I wondered when Adrianne would step out on her own again. It's been 4 years since her solo debut and after "from" the album really jumps into haunting and euphoric fragilness only Nick Drake, Vatashi Bunyan and Right Away, Great Captain have really done well in my subjective opinion. Wow. Beautiful.

(Yes I'm a bitch for folk music now ... read more
JohnLouisHoward
75
always love her lyrics and her musical vision but she seems diminished here. the context of Big Thief does more to enhance and support her music. the arrangements on this record are too minimalist and formless to really allow her to shine.
bottledsoup
98
Such incredible guitar work, Beautiful tear-jerking vocals that had me crying at the first track alone. Another amazing album cherished and blessed with Adrianne's voice. All the tracks are consistent, All the tracks are great. As amazing as Capacity? No, But close. Either way, I extremely love this album. Sad Indie albums always will have a place in my heart.
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END OF YEAR LISTS

#27/Stereogum
#35/Rough Trade
#41/Paste
#42/Pitchfork
#50/Treble

Track List

  1. terminal paradise
  2. from
  3. womb
  4. out of your mind
  5. cradle
  6. symbol
  7. blue and red horses
  8. abyss kiss
  9. what can you say
  10. 10 miles
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Added on: August 7, 2018