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The Harvester News

The Student News Site of Hayfield Secondary School

The Harvester News

The Student News Site of Hayfield Secondary School

The Harvester News

A life shaped by sports
Yahia Omar, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

Album Spotlight: Bright Future by Adrianne Lenker

Photo by Wikipedia Commons

     2024 has been, though it’s just April, a formative year already for music releases. Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and other renowned musicians have all released albums since January, making headlines for pop music. However, some non-pop music releases have been just as innovative of projects and deserve recognition as well. Today, the folk/alternative album Bright Future by Adrianne Lenker is being put in the spotlight.

     Lenker, 32 years of age, has produced beautiful solo music and projects with her band Big Thief. Often, she is described as the best songwriter since Elliott Smith, and this praise could not be more accurate. Her haunting ballads coupled with folksy guitar are a true marvel. Bright Future, some of Lenkers best work yet, truly deserved so much more recognition.

     Real House, the first song of the album, is a true example of some commonly explored themes in Lenkers music. Callbacks to childhood and motherhood lace the lyrics of this song, haunting the listener. 

“I never saw you cry

Not until our dog died

And the whole family came back together

We held her body as they put the needle in her

And then I saw you cry

And then I saw you cry”

     Sadness as a Gift, the second track of the album, is arguably the most upbeat (in Lenkers terms, which means it’s still extremely sad). This track also made me utterly upset that Lenkers music isn’t featured in more movies and tv shows, because I’m convinced this song is about Jo and Laurie from Little Women. 

“Leaning on the windowsill

You could write me someday, and I bet you will

We could see the sadness as a gift and still

The seasons go so fast

Thinking that this one was gonna last

Maybe the question was too much to ask

     Moving to a later track, Vampire Empire, the true ability of Lenker to completely change a song by taking her own spin on it. Originally released by Big Thief, Lenker changed some of the lyrics when releasing her solo version of the song, and does it masterfully.

“You give me chills, I’ve had it with the drills

I am nothing, you are nothing, we are nothing with the pills

I am empty ’til she fills, alive until she kills

In hеr vampire empire, I’m thе fish and she’s my gills” 

From the lyrics, to the symbolism, to the use of instruments, it’s clear that Bright Future by Adrianna Lenker deserves a listen from everyone.

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About the Contributor
Ava Saunders
Ava Saunders, Editor-in-chief
My name is Ava and this is my first year as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Harvester News, though I’ve been involved with journalism inside and outside of Hayfield since 2021. I also helped a local publication, The Zebra Press, with their business this past summer. I’m excited for myself and for other staff at the Harvester to share our stories with the Hayfield community, because journalism and consuming news media is incredibly important for young people, our target audience. I’m involved with gun control advocacy at Hayfield, with a plan to study Political Science in college, and I believe that political science bears a strong connection to journalism. I hope you enjoy reading our stories!!

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