Review: Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

5/5 Anchors

Lear Eicher, Copy Editor

Big Thief is, without question, one of the most exciting rock projects in 2022. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, the four-piece has now released five studio albums. Their latest album creatively embraces traditional folk and folk rock without rendering its musical ideas trite or overly familiar. 

The band’s influences come from a variety of places. On “Little Things,” Big Thief channel their inner 80’s Fleetwood Mac, “Red Moon” sounds like the backdrop to a barn dance, “The Only Place” sounds like a lost Nick Drake song and the esoteric and somewhat unsettling “Sparrow” sounds like it could be the soundtrack to the end of the world.

Another highlight is “Certainty.” Contrary to its title, “Certainty” is an ode to all things uncertain. Frontwoman Adrianne Lenker describes the certainty in her life (perhaps specifically her love life) as “wild” and “weaving.” Its compelling story and campfire-folk atmosphere make it one of the strongest moments on the album.

Big Thief also show impressive, diverse musicianship. The flute that appears on “No Reason” is gorgeous, and the in-sync harmonics in the dual guitar solo near the end of “Simulation Swarm” are incredibly satisfying as well.

Lenker is also just an undeniably fantastic songwriter. Much of her imagery comes from nature: birds, mountains, rivers, trees and flowers. It seems as if nature is the lens through which Lenker views the world, and she finds a lot of truth in observing it. Interestingly, there is also a fair amount of technological imagery to juxtapose this, including simulations, screens and drones.

Possibly the most impressive part of Dragon New Warm Mountain is its consistency. Within its sprawling, 80-minute runtime, Big Thief deliver a package that is nonetheless cohesive and never gets boring.

Folk music is not dead, people!


5/5 Anchors