Big Thief - Two Hands
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2019 Ratings: #20 / 759
Year End Rank: #18
User Score
Based on 765 ratings
2019 Ratings: #49
Liked by 20 people
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The Skinny

Arguing which record between this and U.F.O.F. is better is pointless. They are two sides of the same sovereign coin, all it proves is 2019 is Big Thief's year.

The Independent

Two Hands is Big Thief’s best to date, and undoubtedly one of the best of the year.

Consequence of Sound

Capping one of the strongest years a rock band has had in a while, this stands as a crowning achievement, the perfect record to close out a tumultuous decade and lead into one where the damage may be irreversible. Two Hands asks what responsibility each of us have going into the next era, offering no clear answers.


Paired with the dream-like, celestial quality of U.F.O.F., Two Hands shows Big Thief's loving view of the world can be immeasurably intimate and intangible, but also be bare-boned and brutally honest.

Loud and Quiet

Emerging from the wake of Big Thief’s third record, U.F.O.F, released only a few months ago, Two Hands is perhaps the band’s most cohesive and down-to-earth work yet.

No Ripcord

Big Thief proves that it can feed your head, your heart, and your hands in equal measure. Like the musical giants of old there is nothing they can’t do, ably going from strength to strength. Two Hands serves as the band’s call to arms.

The second landmark album this year from Big Thief is raw, tactile, and essential. The intimate songs zoom in on a band that feels, at this moment, totally invincible.
The Line of Best Fit

Two Hands is a great record, and a stunning artistic accomplishment ... but it’s also devilishly clever in that it isn’t a perfect album.


Two Hands does not dramatically depart from the mesmerizing folk-rock fusion of U.F.O.F., but its best moments emphasize the band’s gnarled electric energy, particularly on the career highlight “Not.”

The songs are largely unedited, and this sometimes does not work in its favor. But thankfully, this is seldom the case.
A raw, primitive nod to the planet we inhabit and our connection to it.
A restrained pace imbues the album with a feeling of deep sedation. It's a blissful listen from start to finish.
Northern Transmissions

Big Thief have crafted a beautiful, intimate and striking album in Two Hands.


While it's hard to talk about Two Hands in 2019 without the context of the stunning U.F.O.F., the album's quality stands on its own, offering its own grade of intimacy, sound, and feel for alternate moods.

The 405

On their second album of the year, Big Thief showcase a more grounded and straightforward approach to songwriting, with Adrianne Lenker's poetry and voice still as potent as ever.

Slant Magazine

Big Thief’s latest isn’t quite the revelation its predecessor was, but it’s a portrait of the band’s skills as musicians, a document of a group hitting its stride.

The Observer

Two Hands is more earthbound than UFOF – in that there’s nothing here that quite matches that album’s astonishing peaks.

The Guardian

Big Thief’s power is in how they understand duality, both in the macro (with their two albums), and in the micro details. This record is best heard alongside its twin, but it’s equally powerful alone.

The Young Folks

U.F.O.F. impressed me; Two Hands moves me.


Two Hands is more grounded, with Adrianne Lenker's usually whispered vocals edging towards the strident.

The Needle Drop

Big Thief's second album of 2019 takes the band's sound back to basics, which is far from a bad thing.

-Everyone : "Moaning about how indie rock and folk are dead..."
-Big Thief : "Am i a joke to you?"

Yeah, Big Thief, my favorite indie rock band right now, they are back! When Big Thief released their third album last February, it was a revelation for many people. Maybe for you. The first albums ("Masterpiece" in 2016 and "Capacity" the following year) were obviously less noticed, but not less awesome. The fact that they switched to 4AD is obviously not ... read more
This is absolutely fantastic. I’ve never had an album make me feel buried in earth tones like this, but here I am picking mud clumps out of my hair. I’m feel lost somewhere in a forest for most of this album. The 4th Big Thief album is not one to be missed. The simple, quiet instrumentation is met by almost whispers from the lead and backing vocals. Everything blends together to make this album feel raw, like a ripened fruit straight off of the folk tree. The themes in the lyrics ... read more
Crazy that I wasn't a fan of this band until this year and now they've dropped 2 albums I'd consider some of the best in recent memory.

This time, the group delivers a record that is equally sad as it is soothing. It's an album for solo listens late at night. Two Hands is raw and powerful.

I'm generally not listening to this genre and I can understand those who find this to be just another cliche indie rock album. But for me, this album resonates. Big Thief has a distinctive take on folk ... read more
first impressions:


Rock and Sing [9.2/10] - WHAT AN OPENER OMG
Forgotten Eyes [9.6/10] - god damn this track is so lovely. her vocals seem so "raw" and full of emotion. gud shit.
The Toy [8.8/10] - now thats just,,,,,depressing....
Two Hands [9.5/10] - one of the most memorable tracks from the whole LP, adrianne sounds magnificent and mesmerizing here
Those Girls  [8.4/10] - gets a lil repetitive/draggy but still a dope track
Shoulders [9.4/10] - if the ... read more
Big Thief successfully compliments the beautiful UFOF with the equally compelling Two Hands. The distinction between the two is pretty apparent. Where UFOF played with lush atmospheres and more existential thoughts, Two Hands feels significantly closer and grounded in personal physical experience. Lenker's vocal performance is quite impressive and the band's guitar work remains top-notch. With such a heavy output over the past five years, it's pretty amazing that the quality of songwriting has ... read more
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Track List

  1. Rock and Sing
  2. Forgotten Eyes
  3. The Toy
  4. Two Hands
  5. Those Girls
  6. Shoulders
  7. Not
  8. Wolf
  9. Replaced
  10. Cut My Hair
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Added on: August 13, 2019