January 17, 2024

Adrianne Lenker - "Sadness as a Gift"

Adrianne Lenker has announced a new solo album, Bright Future, and shared the new song, "Sadness as a Gift."

At the end of 2023, Adrianne Lenker shared a new song called "Ruined," a devastating, gut punch of a song that felt intimate and revealed immense vulnerability with stunning results. Today, the Big Thief singer has announced a new album that features that track as well as an old recording of Big Thief's recent "Vampire Empire." In addition to the announcement, Lenker shared "Sadness as a Gift," a country-leaning number that utilizes acoustic guitar and humble harmonies for an enriching melody that again feels both sparse and rather reserved. This isn't the Adrienne that lets out a big scream at the finale of "Sparrow" or ravages a guitar like on "Not," but rather one that does indeed feel like a solo number, operating without the closeness of bandmates (although it does borrow a slight resemblance to the melody of "Wake Me Up to Drive"). Fitting with the lore of her band and her own solo work, the album was recorded in the woods and when speaking about the studio, remarked: "It felt like everyone's nervous systems released... Once we were IN the song, somehow we just knew. No one stopped a take. We didn't listen back. I only listened after everybody else left." There's a twang in the violin and a softness to the piano that adds a comfort to the song's emotional heartbreak. Letting go and saying goodbye isn't always easy and here, Lenker acknowledges that perhaps asking for something to last forever is too much in and of itself and changes the notion "don't be sad it's over, be glad it happened" to the idea that the sadness of losing something is the ultimate final gift. 

Bright Future is out March 22.

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