Adrianne Lenker, the American folk singer-songwriter and Big Thief frontwoman, took to Instagram to perform four cuts from her 2020 solo album songs.
The performance, unannounced and supremely casual, was just Lenker, an acoustic guitar, and songs at their most stripped down and intimate. Starting with ‘not a lot, just forever’, Lenker’s unmistakable timbre rings out beautifully and gently, complemented by pastoral fingerpicking. Next up was ‘forward beckon rebound’, and Lenker concludes with ‘half return’ and ‘anything’, the album’s lead single.
There wasn’t any fanfare involved with the performance: Lenker didn’t address the watching audience or give any particular reason for going live. Likely, it was simply a spur of the moment decision to share the songs in this setting. The only sounds in between were the retuning of Lenker’s often-open chord guitar voicings. The performance was low-key, relaxed, and comforting, giving us yet another reason to miss live performances.
Lenker previously took to Big Thief’s Instagram page earlier this year to perform a new work in progress song, ‘simulation swarm’, giving us a glimpse of what would be the band’s first new music since 2020’s ‘Love In Mine’. Big Thief released their most recent full-length LP, Two Hands, back in October of 2019.
One of the greatest joys from watching the Instagram video is scrolling through the comments and seeing famous faces, like Tomberlin and Simon Pegg queuing up to enjoy the show and offer their praises. There’s something comforting in watching these big names converge in the same place as the rest of us shmucks, joined by a shared fandom. It’s not exactly a triumphant return to the live setting that we’re all craving, but it’s a reminder that getting back to see our favourite artists is a tantalisingly close proposition.
Check out the performance from Lenker down below.