Big Thief were among the list of artists who won 2021 without even having to drop a full length album (the others include Wet Leg, Mitski, and Succession, although Cousin Greg did release a hell of a banger last year). Their song ‘Little Things’ came in at the number two spot on our list of the 50 best songs of 2021, narrowly getting edged out by fellow “where’s the full album?” artists Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen.
Unlike those guys, who sadly seem to have limited their collaboration to a one-off, Big Thief actually have plans for a new LP in the new year. Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, the band’s first new album since 2019’s Two Hands and their fifth overall, is set to drop in February, and today we have another preview of the upcoming double album with two new songs, ‘No Reason’ and ‘Spud Infinity’.
This same strategy of releasing two new songs at once was how we learned the band were assembling new material in the first place: ‘Little Things’ came paired with ‘Little Sparrow’. In the time since, we’ve also gotten two other songs, ‘Certainty’ and ‘Change’, to preview the album. Still, even with six songs already out, we still haven’t heard even a third of Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You yet.
‘No Reason’ is more in line with the band’s more folky past material, featuring chiming lead guitar and dry drums. Pastoral and gently calming, it’s the kind of song that Big Thief have been excelling at for the past decade. Shout out to flautist Richard Hardy for his solo, which adds a lovely layer of nuance that never goes full-on twee.
If ‘No Reason’ is the part of the woods where Sleeping Beauty sings to all the woodland creatures, ‘Spud Infinity’ is the deeper patch where your backwater cousins are making moonshine. Complete with a jews harp (courtesy of lead singer Adrianne Lenker’s brother Noah Lenker) and fiddle (courtesy of Mat Davidson), the song still retains a fair amount of beauty. It’s as close as the band has ever come to country – complete with Lenker almost yodelling – and it’s a wonderfully goofy way for the band to diversify their sound.
Check out the audio for ‘No Reason’ and ‘Spud Infinite’ down below. Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is set to be released on February 11th.