Album of the Week: Adrianne Lenker, songs and instrumentals

Adrianne Lenker holed up in a one-room cabin in the woods of Western Massachusetts last Spring, sat down in front of a tape deck or Walkman and recorded two albums-worth of songs and instrumentals. The results are some of the most simply beautiful bitter tears of songs you’re likely to hear this year.

Words fail me because Lenker’s words are so powerful here, so filled with emotion and poetry, I’d rather just refer to the work as the experience of listening is really beyond description. This is as intimate as music gets, with some sounds from the place surrounding Lenker as she sings and plays finding their way into the mix acting as reminders of her present.

From “Dragon Eyes”

Dragons have silent eyes
Cracked eggshells, fireflies
I don’t wanna tame you, I don’t wanna tame

When the hot sand burns my feet
You have cool hands, you are sweet
I don’t wanna changе you, I don’t wanna change

This album flows like a gentle stream where Lenker’s guitar is part of her voice, perfectly joining in the story being told, sharing the bitter tears of her time and our times.

The accompanying instrumentals album extends songs into sounds where we get to reflect and possibly play out our stories.