Albums to watch

songs

Adrianne Lenker

songs

One of two simultaneous releases from the American singer-songwriter and Big Thief lead vocalist recorded in a cabin in the mountains of Western Massachusetts

ADM rating[?]

8.3

Label
4AD
UK Release date
23/10/2020
US Release date
23/10/2020
  1. 10.0 |   The Independent

    It’s excruciating in its honesty – even for Lenker, who’s hardly known for shying away from her feelings. Now she bares her pain with complete abandon. It’s quite extraordinary
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  2. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    Lenker's work continues to reimagine love and loss, and albums like songs are her way of turning those complex emotions into something timeless
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  3. 9.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Eleven melodic ballads crafted of just Lenker’s vocals and an acoustic guitar
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  4. 9.0 |   XS Noize

    A master of songwriting, Lenker has dialled back from the experimental nature of her previous album to a more reigned-in folk sound, constructing seemingly simple compositions that bely a great deal of fingerpicking skill
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  5. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Songs conjures the kind of liberated openness we associate with the tranquility of nature, and a peaceful state of mind
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  6. 9.0 |   DIY

    The title ‘songs’ betrays overwhelming modesty on Adrianne Lenker’s part
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  7. 9.0 |   Gigwise

    Songs is born from stacks of syrupy vocals and chiming guitars, embodying the acoustics of the cabin like a Russian doll
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  8. 8.8 |   Pitchfork

    Some of these songs are as lovely as any Lenker has ever written: lush and verdant, chords fanning out like ferns, their major-key tonalities at odds with the heartbreak at the album’s core
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  9. 8.6 |   Paste Magazine

    The Big Thief vocalist remains one of today’s most essential songwriters
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  10. 8.5 |   Beats Per Minute

    It’s in the final three tracks of songs where the membrane between songwriter and broken-hearted woman is at its thinnest, where Lenker renders her deep, soulful ache in the most poignant of ways
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  11. 8.0 |   Clash

    The sparse palette - Lenker’s acoustic, incidental percussion, reassuring tape hiss - serves to isolate the quiet brilliance of the melodies
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  12. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Big Thief’s prolific singer-songwriter releases a stunning solo collection
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  13. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Lenker’s worldview is a warm antidote for an existential crisis, but she also dwells on the tragedy in our fated return to nature
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  14. 8.0 |   music OMH

    The songs are delicately imparted, withdrawn yet intimate and centred around her uniquely affecting voice
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  15. 8.0 |   Northern Transmissions

    The entirety of the album is transportive. Even through the fragility of the songs and performance, it feels as if Lenker physically grabs you and places you directly in front of herself, singing these songs in a cabin in the woods
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  16. 8.0 |   No Ripcord

    Recorded under lockdown and off the grid in rural Massachusetts, the simply titled songs brings more wares to pick up, ponder, and imagine how they might be reassembled by Lenker or others further down the line
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  17. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Her lyrics and voice remain major draws. Print edition only

  18. 8.0 |   NME

    Through even her most downtrodden moments, Lenker finds room for love, opting for a directness that marks a departure from the poetic metaphors that often cloak her emotions
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  19. 7.0 |   All Music

    While not an essential album for fans of Big Thief, admirers of Lenker's solo work will find another reliably solid, touching set of songs
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  20. 6.0 |   Mojo

    Draws itself into clearer focus through Lenker's sweet, freshly-cut voice. Print edition only


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