Big Thief

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Big Thief
Big Thief at the Lexington - 32694587412.jpg
Lead vocalist Adrianne Lenker in 2017
Background information
OriginBrooklyn, New York, United States
GenresIndie rock, folk rock
Years active2015–present
LabelsSaddle Creek, 4AD
  • Adrianne Lenker
  • Buck Meek
  • Max Oleartchik
  • James Krivchenia

Big Thief is an American indie rock band with folk roots based in Brooklyn, New York, United States. Its members are Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar, backup vocals), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums).[1]

The band's first album, Masterpiece, was released on Saddle Creek Records on May 27, 2016.[2]

On April 4, 2017, Big Thief premiered a new single, "Mythological Beauty," on NPR.[3] The following day, the band released the single's official video and confirmed that the song would appear on their next LP, Capacity. The full album was released on June 9 via Saddle Creek.[4]

Big Thief announced their third album, U.F.O.F., on February 26, 2019, "F" standing for "friend", and released the first single, "UFOF".[5] The band subsequently released two more singles before the album release, "Cattails" on April 3, 2019, and "Century" on April 20, 2019. The full length album was released on May 3, 2019 via 4AD, receiving widespread acclaim.


The band's first album received generally favorable reviews from critics; it has a rating of 79/100 on Metacritic.[6] Bob Boilen wrote for NPR that Big Thief was "a band bound by great songs," and called the title track of Masterpiece "one of the best songs I've heard this year."[7] Jillian Mapes, writing for Pitchfork Media, gave Masterpiece a rating of 7.7 out of 10 and said that the songs on the album "sound cherry-picked over a lifetime of writing".[8] Robert Christgau described its songs as "Fragile, noisy images of a love perpetually out of reach".[9] Ben Salmon wrote in the Portland Mercury that on the album, Big Thief "alternately sounds like an unearthed field recording ("Little Arrow"), a pop band with a broken heart's pulse ("Vegas"), and a classic, buzzy indie-rock outfit ("Interstate")."[1]


Capacity, the band's second album, received critical acclaim upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from music critics, the album received an average score of 81, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 15 reviews.[10]

Capacity appeared on multiple album-of-the-year lists, including #1 on NPR's "Bob Boilen's Top Ten Album's of 2017".[11] Boilen said, "I don't recall the last time I had the same band in my top five albums for two years in a row. But this year's Capacity (my No. 1 album) and last year's Masterpiece (my No. 4 album) did just that. SPIN named Capacity #2 on their "50 Best Albums of 2017",[12] citing the band's "open engagement with anguish in their bracing songs."


U.F.O.F., the band's third album, was announced on February 26, 2019. On the same day, they released the album's first single, its title track., "UFOF"[13][14] as well a new tour across America and Europe. The band released two more singles, "Cattails" and "Century" ahead of the album release on May 3, 2019.

U.F.O.F. received critical acclaim upon its release. It received "Best New Music" by Pitchfork (website), scoring a 9.2.[15] At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 89/100.[16] In the first album release week, U.F.O.F. reached the top of Billboard charts, including the #1 position on Alternative New Artist Albums, Americana/Folk Albums, Top New Artist Albums, #2 placement for LP Vinyl Albums, #6 placement for Current Alternative Albums, #8 placement for Current Rock Albums, and #142 for Billboard Top 200 Albums.[17] The band also had 3 sold out album release shows, one the night before the album release in LA at The Fonda Theatre on May 2, another in LA on May 3 at The Bootleg Theater,[18] and a third night in Brooklyn, NY at Elsewhere on May 5, 2019.


  • Adrianne Lenker – vocals, guitar
  • Buck Meek – guitar, backing vocals
  • Max Oleartchik – bass
  • James Krivchenia – drums




  • "Dandelion" (Saddle Creek; 2016)
  • "Masterpiece" (Saddle Creek; 2016)
  • "Mother" (Weathervane Music; 2016)
  • "Mythological Beauty" (Saddle Creek; 2017)
  • "Shark Smile" (Saddle Creek; 2017)
  • "Haley" (Saddle Creek; 2017)
  • "UFOF" (4AD; 2019)
  • "Cattails" (4AD; 2019)
  • "Century" (4AD; 2019)

Music videos[edit]

  • "Masterpiece" (2016)
  • "Humans" (2016)
  • "Mythological Beauty" (2017)


  1. ^ a b Salmon, Ben (6 July 2016). "Big Thief's Masterpiece Finds the Right Alchemy". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  2. ^ Weiss, Dan (1 June 2016). "Review: Big Thief Are Halfway to a Low-Strung 'Masterpiece'". Spin. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  3. ^ "New Mix: Son Lux, Public Service Broadcasting, Big Thief, More". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  4. ^ "Big Thief Announce New Album Capacity, Share New "Mythological Beauty" Video: Watch | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  5. ^ "Big Thief Tune in to a Higher Frequency on the Unearthly 'U.F.O.F.'". Spin. 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  6. ^ "Masterpiece". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  7. ^ Boilen, Bob (19 May 2016). "Review: Big Thief, 'Masterpiece'". NPR. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  8. ^ Mapes, Jillian (6 June 2016). "Masterpiece Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (8 July 2016). "Car Seat Headrest, the Julie Ruin, and Drugs". Vice. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  10. ^ Capacity by Big Thief, retrieved 2018-01-18
  11. ^ "Bob Boilen's Top 10 Albums Of 2017". Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  12. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2017". Spin. 2017-12-18. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  13. ^ "Big Thief announce new album, U.F.O.F., share title track: Stream". Consequence of Sound. 2019-02-26. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  14. ^ Listen to “UFOF” by Big Thief, retrieved 2019-02-27
  15. ^ "Big Thief: U.F.O.F." Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  16. ^ U.F.O.F. by Big Thief, retrieved 2019-05-13
  17. ^ "Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  18. ^ May 3rd, Staff Editor on; 2019 (2019-05-03). "Photos: Big Thief at the Fonda Theatre". Retrieved 2019-05-13.

External links[edit]