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Home of the Delta Kings

Stagg Online

(REVIEW) Is Adrianne Lenker’s new album ¨Bright Future¨ her best one yet?

Four years after her fifth studio album ¨songs¨, Adrianne Lenker has released another album. Will this new album live up to people’s expectations?

The cover for Adrianne Lenker’s album “Bright Future” features Lenker posing in a cowboy hat.

Adrianne Lenker is most known as the main vocalist of alternative indie band Big Thief, who make music for sad cowboys.

Lenker has consistently released music since she was 14 years old, and in 2020, released her breakout solo album “songs”, and it was seen as her best album yet according to posters on the  Indieheads subreddit. In the album, Lenker talks about wanting to keep a sweet love in her life. “songs” is a slow and heartfelt album. Clarissa Fara, a journalist from Harmony World Mag, said that, ¨Listening to ‘songs’ was like coming inside from the cold. Freezing, and being wrapped in a warm blanket.¨

Now in 2024, Lenker is back with her sixth studio album, a 12 track record titled “Bright Future”, and instead of a warm blanket, it feels like an empty house.

“Bright Future” sounds like grief to me, like the loss of something that you loved deeply. When I was listening to the album for the first time, I felt as if I was hearing about someone moving out of their childhood home and them leaving everything behind. They were abandoning that part of their life, as if it was just disappearing.

The lyricism in the album is what stands out to me the most. On the first track, “real house”, Lenker sings, ¨Mama, what happened? I never thought we’d go this long,¨ talking about how she and her mother fell out and never thinking that they would go this long without talking to each other.

Lenker later sings, ¨And I don’t feel strong. And your love is all I want,¨ missing her mother and that all she wants is her mother’s love.

On tracks like “fool”, Lenker sings ¨We could be friends. You could love me through and through. If I were him.¨  The meaning is up to interpretation, but it’s hinting that she would find love if she were someone else.

Before “Bright Future” was released, Lenker put out singles such as “Sadness As A Gift”, “Fool”, and “Free Treasure” as singles. It’s worth pointing out that “Vampire Empire” was released as a single with her band, Big Thief, then released an acoustic version as a single on “Bright Future”.

Hearing Lenker’s acoustic version was like listening to a whole new song, in a good way. It was refreshing to hear a different version of it. I’m not saying that the original was bad, but it was like hearing a story from a different perspective.

What really got me to love this album was taking my time and listening to it, paying attention to the lyrics, focusing on the guitar and piano in the background, and imagining the scenery.

For example, when I listen to “real house”, the empty feeling of the recording, the slow tempo and the changing intensity of the piano made me imagine a very snowy area with pine trees surrounding the house. Inside the house there’s almost nothing. Just a table with a candle in the middle, and a lit fireplace with a couch a few feet away from it. It’s not cold in the house but there’s chills. Chills of one’s childhood of them growing up in that house. 

“Bright Future” is Adrianne Lenker’s best work yet, and it really shows how versatile she can be. It’s different musically from Big Thief, and it’s different from her previous albums. She doesn’t have to stick to one genre of music making love songs. She can venture out and make songs that hold a deeper meaning.  

If you haven’t had the time to listen to Bright Future then after this you definitely should now. Bright Future is available on all steaming platforms and if you’d like to buy a physical copy of it you can go to to purchase.

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