Song of the Day: Big Thief – Shark Smile

Big Thief

photo by Shervin Lainez

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Shark Smile” by Big Thief from the 2017 album Capacity, which was released June 9 on Saddle Creek Records.

Big Thief- Shark Smile (MP3)

Big Thief’s track “Shark Smile” is about a car crash. Describing the moments before and after the death of a loved one, “Shark Smile,” today’s Song of the Day, follows the narrator in disbelief, as she softly begs to join her lover in the afterlife. The listener stays with the narrator, held gently aloft by the accompanying music.

Deeply emotional songwriting is not new for Big Thief frontwoman Adrianne Lenker. Lenker’s debut record, 2016’s Masterpiece, consisted of a number of character portraits that felt deeply intimate and informed by residual images from childhood. Capacity similarly delves into dark territory, issues of family history and trauma running throughout the collection. Lenker’s voice, as well as intricate guitar parts from Buck Meek, accompany the bleak undercurrents with a world-weary attitude and acceptance. However, a sense of uplift remains audible amidst the tumult. As Lenker sings on Capacity‘s “Great White Shark,” “for in the dark, there is release.”

Big Thief will be in Seattle later tonight (August 8), in support of Belle & Sebastian at The Paramount Theater. They are also stopping by the KEXP studios at 12PM for an in-studio which is available for public viewing. For more information, check out the band’s website and Facebook. Below is the music video for the lead-off single from Capacity, titled “Mythological Beauty.”

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One Comment

  1. Karl Hutchinson
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    The mp3 file is missing. :(

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