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Big Thief continually puts out music that’s reflective and intriguing, but also melancholy. (Photo provided by @bigthiefmusic via Twitter).

Album review: Big Thief’s new album is all over the place in the best way possible

Alt/indie group Big Thief released their latest album Dragon New Mountain I Believe In You on Feb. 11. A mix of indie, rock and pop sounds, this album is a warm and endearing project that centers on a theme of blissfulness. 

The album is fun and energetic, something audiences wouldn’t expect from a band that has created such melancholy music. Nonetheless, the band performs beautifully in their newest addition to their discography and shows audiences a side of them that wasn’t previously seen, or at least not to the capacity on this project. 

An interesting aspect of the album is that no song sounds exactly similar to another. Each song is sonically unique and it makes for an equally unique listening experience. Songs may be characterized as sounding similar in their influences, yet they may use aspects of each influence within the songs. One song may have synth paired with fiddle, or any other pairing of sounds or techniques.

While this may not sound appealing to some listeners, anyone can find a song from this album to really stand behind. All of the tracks are unique, which in a way is the band acknowledging that they not only have a unique sound, but it also has a very unique fan base that loves them for their uniqueness as a band. 

Often having such a diasporic album concept, in which influences cannot be constrained to singularity, would create a challenge for even the most prestigious bands. However, Big Thief executes this concept perfectly. Having drum machines paired with flute, or fiddle paired with a subtle electric guitar is so interesting and fun, and perfectly exudes the right amount of warmth.

 In previous records, the band formulated its music centered around a more mellow, melancholy sound. Whether the music sounded this way lyrically or sonically, the latest album from the group escapes this trend in a new way. Lyrically, it’s still the same. Poetic, bittersweet and wistful, the lyrics address many different themes but stay similar throughout the album to evoke strong emotions. This aspect is similar to any other Big Thief project; however, the sound of the album is completely new for the group. 

The new sound is warm and endearing, something to dance to, or something to scream in the car. Never before have we heard albums from the band that evokes such emotion through its sound, yet here we are. That isn’t to say the band has completely strayed, but a lot has changed for the band.

Much has stayed the same, which is fairly endearing considering how much the indie genre has changed since its start. Big Thief continually puts out music that’s reflective and intriguing, but also melancholy. Its music fits any mood and this album is a testament to that fact. 

Best tracks:

“Change”

This is the most similar sounding track to the band’s previous album. It’s perfectly sappy and heartfelt. The bare textures of the music make the vocals shine within the song, and the harmonies within it are really phenomenal. 

“No Reason”

It’s spacey and relaxing in a great way. The electric guitar paired with the flute works really well surprisingly. This track is one of the more atmospheric on the album.

“Certainty”

The vocals on this track are very grungy and displaced but that provides a great sound that goes throughout the song. The lyrics are some of the more catchy on the album in this track, which makes it a great song to sing along to. 

“Little Things”

Another very atmospheric track, the echoey nature of the vocals are experimental and make the overall sound in disarray, but also create a great chasm in which the song exists. This track reminds of a late 80s pop classic. 

“Promise is a Pendulum”

This track is raw, more so than any other track in the album as a whole. The track is solely guitar and a hurt-sounding singing from Adrianne. This bareness creates focus on the poetic lyrics within the track. 

@eifert.sean

se538920@ohio.edu  

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