After the beautiful yet sad UFOF, Big Thief delivers Two Hands, also a very sad album. These two albums could have been one album, the two faces of a coin.

While UFOF is about dealing leaving the past at different stage of your life, Two Hands is about loneliness and the process before beginning your present. This review will include some elements of UFOF, so I suggest to check UFOF songwriting lyrics/process.

Adrianne Lenker was and is always very open about her feelings in her songwriting. "The wound has no direction, everybody needs a home and deserves protection", "I don't wanna lock my door anymore", "her warm hands play, on my breast, what is she singing. Cause the toy in my hand is real", "New friends, I can make some too, I know [...] to repeat ourselves, to deny, to deny", "You brought me in, so touch my skin and tell me where you've been".

I could continue such quotes a long time (I take the first half of the album), but the point here is that adrianne lenker really takes her gut in the tracks, perfectly describes her feelings without big images. The lyrics in UFOF were the mirror of the people in Big Thief's life and Two hands is a personal reflection of a profound loneliness, bitter emotions.(Not/Wolf/Replaced/Cut my hair). I like the fact that tracks like UFOF and Two hands seem to be a continuation of each other and the instrumentation the inversion of each other.
The second half of the album takes the cake in term of album's pace/progression. This is not just about the vast landscape of personnal life but also dealing with from just being alone to your identity (Cut my hair, oh boy). This side could have been more present thought.

Not only the lyrics are personal, the singing emphasis well with them. Depending on bitter or lonely state, Lenker has the perfect pitch for each moments (more repressed / high pitch voice to a more angry / raw side). While she already has this tendency in Capacity, this were more in the musical statement side, but here everything feels justify for the lyrics.

Instrumentaly, I don't think Big Thief are that astonishing, but every tracks are solid folk pieces and some pushes the previous bondaries of the band like Not, Two hands, forgotten eyes and Shoulders. Again, not something revolutionnary but it's more than well executed and it's sounding really fresh to listen,which is a frequent issue in many contemporary folk albums these years.


Big Thief proves one more time that they are not the generic indie folk band from 10's. Masterpiece was solid but something was desired to be more than that. Capacity adds a lot in songwriting and composition (some gems, shark smile or Mythological beauty are so good), UFOF adds way more personal dimension. Two hands finishes beautifully this cycle. Big Thief were looking for their sound and identity, now they find it.

I wish a luminous next album.
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