Friday, September 3rd, 2021

Big Thief – Little Things

On “Little Things”, Big Thief grow…


William John: Restless without ever losing forward momentum, “Little Things” careens towards a scream — the manifestation of an unrelenting desire, something powerful enough to overwhelm the “blue”, the “use”, and the feelings of shame while left behind, undressed. Tusk-esque guitar noodles give the track warmth and charm, but it’s Adrienne Lenker’s vocals and words that are most compelling: here she offers us pithy, yet vivid images of a love story that together forge something fully formed and heart-stopping.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Ultimately a minor piece in the Big Thief catalog — Buck Meek’s guitars dance and Adrianne Lenker is excitingly cryptic, but everything feels slightly out of focus. The track lacks the shocking, mystical clarity of the group’s best work. Instead, it sounds like a slightly more sophisticated take on luxury-ad indie rock, the soundtrack to corporatized wanderlust.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: When the rhythm changes on “Seein’ out that needle eye”, it feels like the world stops turning. Adrianne Lenker’s songwriting has always had a revolving structure, and it’s bolstered here by her frantic, noisy strumming and Buck Meek’s constantly shifting lead. “Little Things” has an energy usually reserved for the last noisy minute of a Big Thief song, but here it starts busy and ends busier, bolstering the chaos of the singer’s bittersweet reminiscence. 

John Pinto: The upper midrange is stuffed to the point of incoherence, and what of it? The lovers in “Little Things” have melted into one; intelligibility is long gone.

Juana Giaimo: I feel “Little Things” would benefit from better mixing. Each of the elements sound dissonant, which gives an interestingly raw feeling, but if everything besides the guitar is louder than the vocals, it gets a little bit muddy. 

Alfred Soto: The guitar tunings recall early Cocteau Twins, intentionally, I suppose, for Adrianne Lenker has evoked Elizabeth Fraser and The Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler in her high, fluting vocalizing. Those guitars turn into a helluva squall by the last third. If “Little Things” is the Big Thief future promised by “Not,” let’s have it now. 

Nortey Dowuona: the stumbling drums underneath the circling bass and jingling guitars feel like a constantly spinning table, with Adrianne’s soft, pliant voice slipping between the notches and holes that appear, gently chugging along. it continually feels like it’s only spinning to keep from toppling over, each last strand of sentiment pulled out of shape for so long that it’s close to breaking and smashing to pieces, held together only by the unfocused and smushed mix. slowly, it begins to thin out and melt, turning to stingy pieces of a once taut web. when the low bass notes slip out, it finally falls apart, falling silent.

Reader average: [8.66] (6 votes)

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