Saddle Creek band returns with second masterpiece in as many years

Big Thief's 2016 album, Masterpiece, was one of my favorites of the year, and the Brooklyn four-piece will likely make a return appearance in my best-of list later this year for new record Capacity (Saddle Creek). In folk-rock songs that transcend both sides of that hyphenated genre, singer/guitarist Adrianna Lenker mines the trauma of her past in ways that are disturbingly pretty and utterly captivating.

On “Mythological Beauty,” a reflection on being a parent and a kid, Lenker recalls when a railroad spike fell on her head as a child. “You held me in the backseat with a dishrag, soaking up blood with your eyes/I was just 5 and you were 27, praying, ‘Don't let my baby die,'” Lenker sings to her mother, her voice somehow communicating empathy for her younger self as well as her parent. “There is a child inside you who's trying to raise a child in me,” she sings, casually tossing off a beneath-the-surface truism as if it were just another line in a song. (Don't miss it)