Big Thief Release Soul-Touching Emotional Single, “Cattails”

Photo Credit: Michael Buisha

Photo Credit: Michael Buisha

The power of nature to move the human spirit is overwhelmingly evident in indie folk-rock band Big Thief’s newest single, “Cattails.” As the second single off their upcoming third studio album, U.F.O.F. or Unidentified Flying Object Friend, it creates a cocoon of musical sunlight that bathes the listener in nostalgia, that primal feeling of getting back to the roots of when mankind and nature were one.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Big Thief formed in 2015 and features frontwoman and guitarist Adrianne Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik and drummer James Krivchenia. After releasing back-to-back albums in 2016 and 2017, the band has taken their time recording their third record— and rightfully so. It has allowed them to form an even tighter bond as not only musicians, but as a family of like-minded humans, creating the space for U.F.O.F. to be their best record yet.

“Cattails” starts off slowly with Lenker’s haughty vocals stripped back, accompanied by guitar picking and Krivchenia’s jaunty drum beat. The track is an ode to nature everywhere, from a still forest seen through a train window to a fiery meteor shower spotted from a motel parking lot. On the surface, it seems like a love song, and it is, but not for another person. It is a love song to Mother Earth in all her glory, a song about finding that natural beauty in all aspects of life. “Cattails” builds up to a fuller sound in the later half of the track with a sparkling array of keys and the quiet tension of horns rounding it out.

About the new song, Lenker explains, “Cattails came about while we were at the studio in Washington in the pine forest. Writing it was just one of those electric multicolored waves of connectivity just sweeping through my body. I stayed up late finishing the song and the next morning was stomping around playing it over and over again. We thought why not just record it, so James sat at the drums and we practiced and by the time we’d finished practicing, Dom Monks— our engineer— had already sneakily set up mics and recorded it. It was beautiful that he’d captured it right away because when James and I were playing it felt like a little portal in the fabric had opened and we were just flying. Listening back to it makes me cry sometimes.”

This second single comes on the tail of title track “UFOF," both tracks showcasing the band’s quiet genius when it comes to creating songs that are able to reach into the soul and create the kind of emotion one can only hope to encounter. With these two tracks acting as a preview into Big Thief’s third studio album, the tight bond the band share is becoming more and more visible in the simplistic realness seen so far.

The release of U.F.O.F. is widely anticipated— the band’s second album Capacity received critical acclaim and both Capacity and their first album, Masterpiece, made it into NPR’s “Bob Boilen’s Top 10 Albums of the Year” in 2017 and 2016.

U.F.O.F. is slated to release on May 3rd through British independent record label 4AD and is available to pre-order here.

Tour Dates

Sat. Apr. 20 - San Diego, CA @ Irenic

Thu. May 2 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

Fri. May 3 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Bootleg Theater (SOLD OUT)

Sun. May 5 - Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere (SOLD OUT)

Sat. May 18 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club (SOLD OUT)

Sun. May 19 - Glasgow, UK @ SWG3

Tues. May 21 - Dublin, IR @ Vicar Street

Wed. May 22 - Manchester, UK @ The Ritz

Thu. May 23 - London, UK @ Roundhouse

Fri. May 24 - Bristol, UK @ SWX

Sun. May 26 - Cambridge, UK @ Cambridge Junction

Mon. May 27 - Paris, FR @ Trabendo

Tue. May 28 - Brussels, BE @ Orangerie

Thu. May 30 - Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound

Fri. May 31 - Nîmes, FR @ This Is Not a Love Song Festival

Sun. June 2 - Amsterdam, NL @ Best Kept Secret

Mon. June 3-6 - Marina Di Ravenna, IT @ Beaches Brew Festival

Mon. June 3 - Berlin, DE @ Lido

Tue. June 4 - Zurich, CH @ Bogen F

Sat. June 8 - Porto, PT @ NOS Privaera Sound

Tue. August 6-10 - Oslo, NO @ Oya Festival

Thu. August 8 - Copenhagen, DK @ Lille Vega

Thu. August 15-18 - Wales, UK @ Green Man Festival

Fri. August 16 - Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop Festival

Thu. Oct. 10 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall

Fri. Oct. 11 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall

Sat. Oct. 12 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground

Sun. Oct. 13 - Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theatre

Tue. Oct. 15 - Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe

Wed. Oct. 16 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre

Thu. Oct. 17 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre

Fri. Oct. 18 - Chicago, IL @ Metro

Sat. Oct. 19 - Madison, WI @ The Sylvee

Mon. Oct. 21 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

Thu. Oct. 24 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom

Fri. Oct. 25 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre

Sat. Oct. 26 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre

Mon. Oct. 28 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

Wed. Oct. 30 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory

Fri. Nov. 1 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom

Sat. Nov. 2 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister

Mon. Nov. 4 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre

Tue. Nov. 5 - Dallas, TX @ Trees

Thu. Nov. 7 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

Fri. Nov. 8 - Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom

Sat. Nov. 9 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

Sun. Nov. 10 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

Mon. Nov. 11 - Columbus, OH @ The Athenaeum Theatre