I am definitely not the first person to write about Brooklyn’s Big Thief, but if their first two tracks are any indication of what we can expect on Masterpiece, the band’s debut album due May 27th on Saddle Creek, I certainly won’t be the last. The album’s title track and “Real Love” are highly enjoyable folk rock tracks that incorporate elements of folk, pop, and hard rock to create an interesting sound that will appeal to fans of those genres.
“Real Love” starts out quietly with Adrianne Lenker’s vocals backed only by an electric guitar that ascends and descends with her voice, matching the songs melody note for note. As she reaches the end of the first verse, she kicks on the distortion and the drums kick in. By the song’s conclusion, it’s a full-blown rock song. In a recent interview with Noisey, Lenker was asked about “Real Love.” “Playing ‘Real Love’ is like taking a medicinal tincture,” the Big Thief front woman said, “and by the end the stress in my body is dissipated. There’s no answers in it. Struggle is inherent in love. Without consciousness, human or animal, would love exist? We make love, and love makes us. Maybe that’s why it is so hard for us when we feel that we’ve lost it, as if we’ve disappeared.” At this point in my life, I don’t really identify with that at all, but I’ll be sure to revisit the thought if my current relationship ever ends. Being a parent, I’m going to be that dick that argues that the only real love is between parent and child. Clearly, this is not the type of love she is singing about in “Real Love.” Either way, “Real Love” and “Masterpiece” are both fantastic songs and I am eager to hear the rest of Big Thief’s LP when it arrives in late May.
You may have noticed, but this post does not feature a live version of the song. I have contemplated whether to post this or not, but I am operating under the assumption that the one person who might actually read this doesn’t care that much if the song is live or not. Good music is good music, right? From here on out, I will always try to feature a live version of a song, but when one is not available, I’ll do without.