Big Thief Announce Another New Album, Release Lead Single “Not”

Two Hands is the "earth twin" to U.F.O.F.'s "celestial twin"

Music News Big Thief
Big Thief Announce Another New Album, Release Lead Single “Not”

Brooklyn folk-rockers Big Thief already released one of the most beloved albums of the year: their haunting, cryptic third LP U.F.O.F. Now, the quartet are trying for another, announcing their fourth album Two Hands, set to come out Oct. 11 on 4AD, and sharing the new record’s lead single, “Not.”

Big Thief’s delicate folk-rock has been captivating audiences since their cockily titled 2016 debut, Masterpiece. “Not” is something of a throwback to the harder textures of that first album, in contrast to the wispy sound of U.F.O.F. Over insistent electric guitar strums and a whistling, metallic flute, frontwoman Adrianne Lenker struggles to articulate something, and works her way around that tip-of-the-tongue feeling by negation: ”[It’s] not a rouse / not heat / not the fire lapping up the creek.” But before Lenker can answer her own riddle, the song dissolves into three minutes of discordant guitar solos, and then ten seconds of static-filled silence.

In a press release, the band explain that Two Hands is intended to be the “earth twin” to the airy U.F.O.F. It was recorded at Sonic Ranch in West Texas, “chosen for its vast desert location,” and to ”[boil] away any clinging memories of the green trees and wet air of the previous session [for U.F.O.F.]” The band set up their instruments close together to produce intimacy (and musical friction), and recorded live with almost no overdubs. The album was produced by Andrew Sarlo, a longtime creative partner of the band. Here’s an excerpt from the announcement explaining the themes of the album:

These are political songs without political language. They explore the collective wounds of our Earth. Abstractions of the personal hint at war, environmental destruction, and the traumas that fuel it. Across the album, there are genuine attempts to point the listener towards the very real dangers that face our planet.

Lenker explains in a statement why she’s excited for Two Hands: “Two Hands has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old. Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.”

Over this past weekend, eagle-eyed fans on Reddit’s most popular indie music forum r/indieheads noticed that an Australian electronic retailer had leaked the details of Big Thief’s forthcoming U.F.O.F. follow-up, quickly garnering over a thousand upvotes. The signs were hidden in plain sight: A mystery 7-inch the band sent to fans earlier this month had “OCT1119” etched into its inner circle, presaging a second 2019 release.

Two Hands is available for preorder here. Below, listen to lead single “Not,” as well as Big Thief’s 2016 Daytrotter Session, and check out the album art and tracklist for Two Hands, and the band’s newly expanded tour slate (new dates in bold) further down.

Two Hands Album Art:


Two Hands Tracklist:
01. Rock And Sing
02. Forgotten Eyes
03. The Toy
04. Two Hands
05. Those Girls
06. Shoulders
07. Not
08. Wolf
09. Replaced
10. Cut My Hair

Big Thief Tour Dates:

14 – Saint-malo, Franace @ Route du Rock
16 – Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop Festival
17 – Wales, U.K. @ Green Man Festival
19 – London, U.K. @ Bush Hall

09 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel
10 – New York, N.Y. @ Webster Hall
11 – New York, NY. .@ Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)
12 – South Burlington, Vt. @ Higher Ground
13 – Boston, Mass. @ Wilbur Theatre
15 – Montreal, Que. @ La Tulipe (SOLD OUT)
16 – Toronto, Ont. @ Phoenix Concert Theatre (SOLD OUT)
17 – Detroit, Mich. @ Majestic Theatre
18 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro (SOLD OUT)
19 – Madison, Wis. @ The Sylvee
21 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Avenue
24 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
25 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Vogue Theatre
26 – Seattle, Wash. @ Moore Theatre
28 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Fillmore (SOLD OUT)
29 – Oakland, Calif. @ Fox Theater
30 – Santa Ana, Calif. @ The Observatory

01 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Crescent Ballroom
02 – Albuquerque, N.M. @ Sister
04 – Austin, Texas @ Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheatre
05 – Dallas, Texas @ Trees
07 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Variety Playhouse
08 – Saxapahaw, N.C. @ Haw River Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
09 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer
10 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
11 – Columbus, Ohio @ The Athenaeum Theatre

17 – Lisbon, Portugal @ LAV
18 – Porto, Portugal @ Hard Club
19 – Madrid, Spain @ Joy Eslava
20 – Barcelona, Spain @ La 2 de Apolo
22 – Bologna, Italy @ Locomotiv
23 – Milan, Italy @ Magnolia
24 – Lyon, France @ Epicerie Moderne
25 – Paris, France @ Cabaret Sauvage

27 – London, U.K. @ Hammersmith Apollo
29 – Nottingham, U.K. @ Rock City

01 – Manchester, U.K. @ Albert Hall
02 – Glasgow, U.K. @ Old Fruitmarket
05 – Brussels, Belgium @ AB Ballroom
06 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
07 – Cologne, Germany @ Luxor
08 – Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefährlich
09 – Berlin, Germany @ Astra
11 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega Main Hall
12 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Pustervik
13 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser
14 – Olso, Norway @ Rockefeller
15 – Aarhus, Denmark @ Voxhall

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