Adrianne Lenker's abysskiss: Meeting the Void with Gentleness

“And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker does a significant amount of soul searching throughout her 2018 solo record, abysskiss. And she is able to repair and recover broken parts of herself while examining the themes of loss and anguish she confronts directly on her third LP.

“It's a heartbreak album,” Lenker revealed to Bandbox about abysskiss. “I was really trying to stay with myself and keep it steady. Keep my head above water and find a lot of love in friends. Believing that it needs to happen and you need to be open in order to grow. Kissing the abyss, like being in the void and meeting it with gentleness. Finding that union with yourself.”

The spare, evocative songs on abysskiss have a hushed fragility to them, featuring only Lenker’s understated guitar and aching vocals on a majority of the tracks. But the album is filled with the sounds of an assured artist who is in the process of picking up the pieces of her life and building something beautiful out of the fragments of lost love and the pain inherent in both birth and death.
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After spending over two years on the road touring behind the Grammy-nominated Big Thief’s first pair of records, Lenker regrouped and readied a batch of new and old tunes that she wanted to record with musician/producer Luke Temple. The longtime friends immediately clicked in the studio and the album quickly came to life, as Lenker gave voice to her intense feelings while not fretting too much over the intricacies of the songs themselves.

“I didn't want to labor over something. I just wanted to play and have it happen as organically as possible,” she explained of the abysskiss sessions. “I felt a strong need to have this experience doing a solo thing be cathartic and restful. There's beauty in recording like that, too, where you're not so concerned with it being this polished product at the end, but doing it simply because I just got to get these things off my chest.”

Listeners can find both strength and solace in the songs on abysskiss, as Lenker shares her personal vulnerability, as well as her sense of resolve, across its 10 tracks. This is a stunning collection of tunes that can break your heart or lift your spirits, depending on what type of magic you need from music at that moment. No matter what you hope to find, there will be a recognizable part of yourself gazing back into you from the abyss where this album was born.
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Bandbox is excited to offer abysskiss on eco-mix recycled vinyl! Each copy of this exclusive pressing, which may differ in appearance from the mockup, is 100% unique. This sustainably-minded process employs recycled color scraps that get trimmed from the edges of the press for previous projects. Every Adrianne Lenker order comes with a 16-page zine, featuring Adrianne's track-by-track guide to abysskiss, her personal photo reel and much more!