Big Thief

A record about embracing the unknown, recorded in rural isolation, U.F.O.F sees New York’s Big Thief enhance their standing as new carriers of the folk torch. Following 2017’s outstanding and often tumultuous Capacity, bucolic restraint reigns, and there’s no equivalent of that album’s stand-out single Shark Smile.

Adrianne Lenker’s whisper is as fragile as a bee’s wing, her transportive writing exulting the wonder of nature. As sedate opener Contact nears its end, she conjures up a chilling scream and hits her distortion pedal, and the superb Jenni bares its grungey teeth, but those are rare departures.

The title track’s cycling arpeggio and melodic twists are familiar Big Thief motifs, while Cattails and Strange epitomise U.F.O.F’s rootsy charm, unfurling steadily and displaying the sort of organic telepathy that only the finest bands are blessed with.

8/10

Gary Walker

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