Home > News & Reviews > Adrianne Lenker

Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future (Album Review)

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Germaine Dunes

Adrianne Lenker’s latest solo album feels like a work in progress — these are rough and raw songs recorded onto tape before they can be crafted into something solid and sellable. This, perhaps, is the point.

Away from her work with Big Thief, Lenker has developed a particular niche where her doubtful, often melancholic, songwriting is a framework for a voice that is highly descriptive and distinctive. 

As such, ‘Bright Future’ feels like an ironic title for a collection of songs dealing with very human troubles, mortality and the climate crisis. As with Radiohead and Tchaikovsky, there is an ecstasy to be drawn from the gloom. 

Sadness As A Gift is an early standout, matching genteel guitar and fiddle with piercingly present lyricism: “You and I both know / There is nothing more to say / Chance has shut her shining eyes / And turned her face away.” It’s a remarkable piece of music and one of the year's best songs.

There are lighter moments, too. Vampire Empire is a skilful mountain ditty that sounds like a contemporary Carter Family singalong, while Fool jauntily lists friends and family lives with depth and texture: “Jamie's in L.A. / Ali found a five acre farm / Max is gonna play / Jon got a clown on his arm.”

The songwriting is occasionally limited but within its lane it is frequently astounding and devastatingly upsetting And that brings us back to the recording medium. ‘Bright Future’ has been recorded on tape — seemingly in single takes — which means that there is a tactile hiss combined with the imperfections that really brings the music to life. 

It’s partly down to this that the songs sound unfinished, like early recordings. It also drops a hint that they will find a life of their own when taken on the road. ‘Bright Future’ has a brittle quality that is both rare and very hard to pull off. The singer it brings to mind is Townes van Zandt, another purveyor of grief-drenched Americana. Lenker is a songwriter in her prime.

Adrianne Lenker Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri April 19 2024 - GALWAY Black Box
Sat April 20 2024 - KILKENNY St Canices Cathedral
Sun April 21 2024 - DUBLIN Vicar Street
Wed April 24 2024 - GLASGOW Old Fruit Market
Thu April 25 2024 - MANCHESTER Hall, Aviva Studios
Sat April 27 2024 - LONDON Barbican Centre
Sun April 28 2024 - LONDON Barbican Theatre
Mon April 29 2024 - BRISTOL Bristol Beacon

Compare & Buy Adrianne Lenker Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

Tue 19 Mar 2024
Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker Shares New Single Free Treasure
Tue 20 Feb 2024
Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker Posts New Song Fool
Thu 18 Jan 2024
Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker Announces Solo LP 'Bright Future' With New Single Sadness As A Gift
Tue 05 Dec 2023
Adrianne Lenker Confirms Spring UK And Ireland Shows, Releases New Single Ruined
< Prev   Next >