Brooklyn-based indie band Big Thief announced today that “Two Hands,” their fourth album — and their second of 2019 — is slated for release on Oct. 11 on 4AD Records. The album is preceded by the song “Not,” which you can stream below.
The announcement comes as a surprise, as the group’s earlier album of 2019, “U.F.O.F.,” is one of the most critically lauded releases of the year and seems poised for many best-of year-end polls (it made Variety‘s list of “The Best Albums of 2019 (So Far).”
The new album is described in the announcement as the “sister album” album and “earth twin” of its predecessor, “U.F.O.F.” While “U.F.O.F.” was recorded in a cabin studio in the woods of Washington State, the new one was recorded deep in Texas, 30 miles from El Paso. “Surrounded by 3,000 acres of pecan orchards and only a stone’s throw from the Mexican border, Big Thief — singer/guitarist Adrianne Lenker, guitarist Buck Meek, bassist Max Oleartchik, and drummer James Krivchenia — set up their instruments as close together as possible to capture their most important collection of songs yet,” the announcement reads. “Where ‘U.F.O.F.’ layered mysterious sounds and effects for levitation, ‘Two Hands’ grounds itself on dried-out, cracked desert dirt.” The songs were recorded live with almost no overdubs. “’Two Hand’s has the songs that I’m the most proud of; I can imagine myself singing them when I’m old,” says Lenker, the band’s lead singer and chief songwriter. “Musically and lyrically, you can’t break it down much further than this. It’s already bare-bones.”