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Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker Releases 'Cradle,' From New Solo Album 'Abysskiss'

Adrianne Lenker will release <em>abysskiss</em> on Oct. 5.
Shervin Lainez
Courtesy of the artist
Adrianne Lenker will release abysskiss on Oct. 5.

As the lead singer of Big Thief, Adrianne Lenker has shown an incredible gift for pairing tender empathy with raw power. The band's first two albums, 2016's Masterpiece and last year's Capacity, are awash in bluster, but always grounded by the intensity and intimacy of Lenker's songwriting.

Fortunately, her prolific nature extends beyond her main band. Lenker was a solo artist before Big Thief — a 2014 album, Hours Were the Birds, showcases an early draft of her sound — so it's only natural that she'd return to her own name for compositions that call for quiet arrangements. She's written a lot of songs during Big Thief's rise, and now some of them will have a home on abysskiss, due out Oct. 5.

Co-produced by Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic, abysskiss features "cradle," below, which sets Lenker's tender vocal against plucked acoustic guitars. Compared to Big Thief's densely packed anthems, the song floats like a whisper, with a kind of music-box delicacy. But it hits hard.

abysskiss tracklist:

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

abysskiss comes out Oct. 5 via Saddle Creek.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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