March 4 - March 10th Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You
At first glance, the title of the new album from Big Thief is...well, confusing. A bit like an inside joke, the band took the phrase from one of Adrianne Lenker's songs, 'Anything', off her solo album Songs.
Dragon in the new warm mountain
Didn't you believe in me?
Super fans know.
With Minnesota connections all over the place, Lenker spent a good chunk of her formative years in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and drummer and producer James Krivchenia was born in Minneapolis. Krivchenia is the master mind behind the concept for this new album - he presented his idea to the band that they would record in 4 different locations across the US working with 4 different engineers. Through this process, he wanted to showcase the full spectrum of sounds and lyrics the band is capable of.
Recorded over five months, the band ended up with 45 complete songs, eventually whittling that down to 20 tracks for the album.
Up until now, I've been a fairly casual Big Thief fan, almost always enjoying their work but not necessarily going out of my way to find it. This album may have changed that for me. As someone who listens to music for a living, an album of 20 songs can sometimes feel overwhelming, a bit repetitive. In listening to Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, I hear James' concept come through loud and clear. It is so varied in sounds, tempos, styles that it is in no way repetitive or overwhelming, all the while still all sounding very much Big Thief-esque.
Many albums coming out sound great. Very well done, polished, and, well, professional. Big Thief has somehow created an environment in the studio that allows for imperfections to shine through, a looseness that feels creative, fun and interesting without going too far.
Take a listen to our album of the week by tuning in to KAXE/KBXE.