4AD – 11th October
What a treat it is to have two albums from Big Thief in 2019. If their last record, the dreamy, crepuscular U.F.O.F., isn’t already primed for your end-of-year list, then its decidedly earthier companion, Two Hands will surely take its place. Big Thief created the former in lush woodland surroundings. Immediately afterwards, they decamped to a Texan desert to record the majority of Two Hands – live. That lack of overwrought interference has resulted in a tender and timeless collection of rootsy songs. Assigned to a traditional Side A/Side B split, the songs blend naturally, sometimes as indistinguishable demo offcuts. Highlights include the doomed lovers’ title track, with its urgent arpeggios and clacking percussion, while ‘Not’ serves as the record’s devastatingly visceral apex.
Photo by Michael Buishas.