Big Thief – Humans (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
Editor’s Note: There’s been a month-long gap in coverage, thanks to near-incessant travel and other extenuating circumstances. The following run of posts that contain this note will be posts that should have appeared sometime within the past several weeks. Use these posts as an opportunity to catch up to the present release cycle or to simply discover some new music. Either way, enjoy.
Big Thief managed to make an extraordinary impression with “Real Love“, a song that easily ranks among 2016’s finest offerings. All of the early signs and material they’ve been giving so generously has pointed to the inevitable conclusion that their upcoming full-length, Masterpiece, may actually live up to its ostensibly tongue-in-cheek title. One of those pieces of suggestive evidence recently arrived in the form of the band’s latest single, “Humans”.
Like “Real Love” before it, “Humans” coasts on the sort of punk-influenced Americana that Saddle Creek has built its reputation on and Big Thief, now more than ever, look to be one of its biggest success stories (in terms of critical acclaim, at the very least). The dynamic interplay, the unapologetic, vulnerable lyricism, and the earthy tones all elevate each other towards transcendent realms while the band keeps everything commendably grounded.
Impressively, the band’s also exuding the sort of lived-in confidence that will go a long way in ensuring their name recognition inevitably accelerates to impress levels in the months (and, probably, years) following the release of Masterpiece. “Humans” also proves the bands committed to its own convictions and that their own grasp on their identity is unwavering. Everything about this band, this song, and this record — especially at this stage — is extraordinary.
Restrained, whip-smart, and perfectly composed, “Humans” shows Big Thief — a relatively new band — operating at the peak of their powers, far outstripping the majority of their contemporaries. Even for most veteran bands, succeeding on these levels is an unimaginable task. For Big Thief, it’s a walk in the park. Don’t lose sight of Big Thief’s journey, all of the early pieces continue to point to their ongoing story being one of the most rewarding in all of music.
Listen to “Humans” below and pre-order Masterpiece from Saddle Creek here.