Big Thief, Auckland New Zealand, 2022

Big Thief

2nd December 2022
Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand

Photography by Ivan Karczewski.

Big Thief  have recently shared their new sprawling double-LP exploring the deepest elements and possibilities of the band with the world. To truly dig into all that the music of Adrianne Lenker, Max Oleartchik, Buck Meek, and James Krivchenia desired in 2020, the band decided to write and record a rambling account of growth as individuals, musicians, and chosen family over four distinct recording sessions.

In Upstate New York, Topanga Canyon, The Rocky Mountains, and Tucson, Arizona, Big Thief spent five months in creation and came out with 45 completed songs. The most resonant of this material was edited down into the 20 tracks that make up DNWMIBIY, a fluid and adventurous listen. The album was produced by drummer James Krivchenia who initially pitched the recording concept for DNWMIBIY back in late 2019 with the goal of encapsulating the many different aspects of Adrianne’s songwriting and the band onto a single record.

In an attempt to ease back into life as Big Thief after a long stretch of pandemic related isolation, the band met up for their first session in the woods of upstate New York. It took a while for the band to realign and for the first week of working in the studio, nothing felt right. After a few un-inspired takes the band decided to take an ice-cold dip in the creek behind the house before running back to record in wet swimsuits. That cool water blessing stayed with Big Thief through the rest of the summer and many more intuitive, recording rituals followed.

When Max’s mom asked on a phone call what it feels like to be back together with the band playing music for the first time in a year, he described to the best of abilities: “Well it’s like, we’re a band, we talk, we have different dynamics, we do the breaths, and then we go on stage and suddenly it feels like we are now on a dragon. And we can’t really talk because we have to steer this dragon.”

The attempt to capture something deeper, wider, and full of mystery, points to the inherent spirit of Big Thief. Traces of this open-hearted, non-dogmatic faith can be felt through previous albums, but here on Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You lives the strongest testament to its existence.

Last night Big Thief (alongside Aotearoa musician Maxine Funke) brought these songs to life once again, at Auckland’s Powerstation. Music Photographer Ivan Karczewski was there to photograph the show and has provided us with a gallery of images – check it out below!

Big Thief
Maxine Funke

Were you there at the Powerstation for this brilliant celebration of indie-folk magnificence? Or have you seen Big Thief perform live somewhere else before? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Note: Ambient Light was provided a pass to photograph this concert. This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase a product using an affiliate link, Ambient Light will automatically receive a small commission at no cost to you.

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