Adrianne Lenker with Suzanne Vallie - ACADEMY OF MUSIC




DSP Shows Presents

Adrianne Lenker with Suzanne Vallie

Monday, November 11th at 8:00pm

Presales begin Thursday, 1/18 at 10:00am with promo code distributed by the artist and Spotify. DSP presale also begins Thursday, 1/18 at 10:00am with promo code distributed by their newsletter. Sign up for their New England email list HERE for details. Sales will open to the public on Friday, 1/19 at 10:00 AM

Adrianne Lenker with Suzanne Vallie

On Bright Future, Adrianne Lenker, a songwriter known for turns of phrase and currents of rhyme, says it plainly, “You have my  heart // I want it back.” Documented with analog precision, what began as an experiment in collaboration, became proof Adrianne’s  heart did return, full to the brim, daring her into the unknown. 

During the high vibrance of autumn, 2022, the Big Thief band member got lucky. Everyone could come. Three musical friends, “Some  of my favorite people,” had space in their busy touring schedules to join her at the forest-hidden, analog studio, Double Infinity. The  musicians were known to Adrianne but newer to each other. “I had no idea what the outcome would be,” she recalls. The result? “It  was magical,” she says. Adrianne’s musical risk became Bright Future, the studio’s first album, a 12-track telling of a journeyed heart.  

Bright Future’s co-producer and engineer, Philip Weinrobe, prepared the studio. He has been Adrianne’s partner on previous solo  albums, but this was something new. Adrianne did not intend to make an album. They would instead explore the songs with no  expectations. Even with an open outcome, from the start, Phil wanted to capture the sessions with the purest, technical honesty. He  rolled onto Double Infinity’s old cherry wood floors an Otari 1/2 inch 8-Track and Studer console.  

To fill the air of the 150 year-old main room, Adrianne wanted piano, guitar, and violin. Mat Davidson plays them all. “I’ve known Mat a  long time,” she says, “It doesn’t matter what instrument, his spirit just pours through.” At 17, Adrianne met Nick Hakim. She trusted her  friend of 15 years to bring his sensitivity to the piano. “The way Nick would hold my songs, he would put every ounce of love.”  Adrianne first met Josefin Runsteen in an Italian castle, and sought the classically trained violinist and percussionist’s “magnetic and  contagious” energy. “She has such fire.” In addition to instrumentation, they made a chorus, adding carefully measured vocal  harmonies. The sessions impressed and enchanted Adrianne. “I think the thing these people have in common, they are some of the  best listeners I know musically. They have extreme presence.” 

They worked morning through afternoon. “It was daytime energy,” Adrianne says, “Evening, we ate dinner and hungout by the fireplace, sat in the living room playing records. Not always talking to each other, but being near each other. Lots of walks in the  woods. The truest sense of hanging out. It was so refreshing.”  

The shelter and ease of the woodland Double Infinity studio is an element of the recordings. “It felt like everyone’s nervous systems  released,” she says. “Once we were IN the song, somehow we just knew. No one stopped a take. We didn’t listen back. I only listened  after everybody else left.” As a result, Bright Future has the best qualities of thoughtful engineering with the spontaneous swim of a  field recording. There are details to savor, fingertips on strings, felt pads nodding in the piano, the harmonies a few steps back, all  smoothly laid to tape. It comes together to allow Adrianne’s songs to be as they are, unarmored and light-footed. 

The lyrics of Bright Future let roam the contradictions of love’s promise and pains. The same heart that admits on “No Machine,” “I  don’t know what I’d do without you,” sings luminously into a darkness, “Love spells Evol backwards people” on the cinematic “Evol.”  When Adrianne calls for her heart’s return, she may be speaking to a lover, or the past, perhaps all of creation. Her strategy, track  after track, is to cast musical beauty to reel her heart home. 

The past is first to arrive on Bright Future with a song of childhood. Though as it begins, we are embraced by the present. The  opening seconds of “Real House” establish the dimensions of Double Infinity’s welcoming room as droplets of piano land glossily, a  violin bow dabbles, and players settling in their chairs. The engineering offers the sensation even the air is audible, transporting the  waveforms of Adrianne’s careful remembrances. “I’m a child humming into the clarity of black space where stars shine like tears on  the night’s face.” She steadily sings to her mother the tide pools of early memories, dipping finally into the day her mother, at last,  allowed herself tears. “Your love is all I want.” 

“Sadness As A Gift” tells us time is catching up. The aliveness of Adrianne’s voice keeps her poetry aloft. She sings in a circle  completed by guitar, piano, violin, and all voices. “The seasons go so fast // Thinking that this one was going to last // Maybe the  question was too much to ask.”  

With bent, plucked, and trembling strings, “Fool” chases its tail for answers with softened beach glass geometry. “If I were him, would  you be my family too?” she asks an indecisive lover who wishes to live two lives at once. Adrianne finds no advice. A course is  needed. Any direction will do. “Just say what it is that you want.” It is the doldrums sailors fear. “What more can I possibly say?”

“No Machine” tells us adoration takes it all, even our sense of direction. “I don’t know where I’d go without you.” Chiming finger  picking, harmonies, and simmering strings travel to the salt-sprayed point. “To the ocean of your love I am a river.” 

Delicate, sturdied by harmonies with guitars paired shoulder-to-shoulder, “Free Treasure” takes us home. Here we have the best  cooking, a warm fire, understanding, and “Love without measure.” It is a road-worn traveler’s paradise. And free to whomever lays it  all down. “Just when I thought I couldn’t feel more, I feel a little more.” 

The heart of the album, “Evol” studies love in a mirror. Words are reversed. Kiss is Ssik. Meaning appears and goes out of frame.  “Words are lethal.” Epiphany is close on the high notes. Weightlessly, voices and violin repeat Adrianne’s summiting melody. She  accepts what she sees. “The giver takes // The taker gives.”  

Adrianne lights every candle on “Ruined,” the finale. She tours scenes from a love affair, or a holy quest. Small moments dazzle.  There is a bed, a fern leaning towards a basement window, a time where one future ends and rescue by another is still beyond sight.  Glimmering, galactic swells surround the bare piano, which insists on paving ahead. Adrianne unfolds her ballad as nature would,  relentlessly till full bloom. “So much coming through // Every hour too // Can’t get enough of you // You come around, I’m ruined.”  Ruined or reborn, she is asking for more. 

Admirers of Adrianne’s solo music and Big Thief will find on Bright Future her reliable talent captured in stunning, magnetic clarity. In  the company of parlor instruments, Adrianne’s modern melodic and lyrical inventions create new traditions. Her vocal flights at times  outwit gravity, then land, guiding along an earthly path. The wholeness of the unspliced recordings preserve a time of musical  friendship during a golden season.  

Although they recorded for only a few days, in Adrianne’s recollection, “It felt like we were together forever.” 

-Suzanne Vallie

Adrianne Lenker has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 per ticket goes to supporting organizations working for equity, access, and dignity for all.

Fees always apply to purchase. Tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone Tuesday through Friday 3pm to 6pm. Tickets can also be purchased online at any time for no additional cost/fee. All Sales are final. If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact the box office at [email protected] or (413) 584-9032 X105.

Show Date/Time:
Monday, November 11, 2024 at 8:00 pm
Doors at 7:30 pm

Ticket Prices:
$39.50 - $43.50 ($49.42 - $53.70 after Fees)

Where/ How Tickets Can be Purchased:
Purchase online using the button on the top right (scroll to the bottom of the page if using mobile), or you may visit or call our box office at 413-584-9032 ext.105.
Box Office Hours are 3pm - 6pm, Tuesday - Friday. Service fees always apply with purchase.