amusingmusings on Big Thief’s ‘Two Hands’

amusingmusings is a feature from Counterzine contributor, Secat, that riffs and digresses on recent, exciting releases in music, games, television, movies, and more. Today’s amusingmusings covers the new album from Big Thief, ‘Two Hands,’ released on October 11th.


[alec is typing . . . ]

alec: please for the love of God come out of your room

secat: will you just leave me ALONE. i am having a sensual, earthy experience with my favorite band, BIG THIEF !!

alec: youve been having a god damn sensual whatever experience since 9 a.m. and i am tired and i want you to turn the music down

secat: you want to be soothed.. ah, i have just the thing for you.. come listen to the soft croons of adrianne lenker with me in here… big thief will rock you to sleep, my child . .

alec: since when do you like big thief so much anyway

secat: since like forever!! i mean did you LISTEN to capacity. did you LISTEN to masterpiece. did you LISTEN to U.F.O.F. (and have you properly appreciated that big thief have put out 2 stunning albums in a single year!!!!)

alec: you know very well that i have not done any of those things my man

secat: come in and listen to Two Hands already. It is so good. did u know that big thief made TWO ALBUMS in a YEARR

alec: yes you have told me

secat: what a feat.. what an accomplishment.. frankly, big thief’s consistency is just marvelous to behold..

alec: whatever! it all sounds the freaking same

secat: it is so laughable. How wrong you are. My goodness

secat: like, Masterpiece is incandescent flame.. Capacity is dark, bubbling ichor.. U.F.O.F. is airy, fluttering light.. Two Hands is rich, crumbling earth..

alec: the 4 elements. I get it

secat: you see! this time, Big Thief have grabbed their shovels and dug raw mineral chords and timbres out of the black, black earth, and recorded them with the absolute WARMEST analog shit on the planet (seriously this album it is like a big down quilt and i cling to it fondly)

alec: when are u gonna grow up and stop using albums as comfort objects

secat: BIG THIEF RANKING uhh let’s see 1) capacity 2) UFOF 3) this one 4) masterpiece

alec: so you dont even like it that much!

secat: shut up!! im splitting hairs here

secat: literally everything they’ve done thus far is on a level above their peers. each project a treasured jewel in my, ehm, musical treasure trove

alec: can’t you listen with headphones at least

secat: oh, yes, i could! but i won’t.. if you don’t let this reverberate around the room a little, you’re, frankly, a little monster, and i will have nothing to do with you

secat: if you set up your space just right, it will feel as though the music is holding your hand. it’s a uniquely intimate, tensile record — an amazing feat of surface tension — a whisper that bends, but does not break, the surface of the still water

alec: so what’s the best song

secat: the BEST song! ha! hahah! i laugh! as if there could be a BEST single song, on this cohesive, wonderful recordingg,

secat: with that being said, it’s Not

secat: i mean, duh. a growling, towering pinnacle. ya know? it completely eclipses everything that comes before and after

secat: . . . and in fact, it has the effect of making the following songs (while still excellent) feel perhaps a little nonessential. after Not ends, you want its final, ringing squalls to sit in your room till the end of time — but then the next song starts — and you’re kind of like, “oh! album’s not done”

secat: so it might’ve been better suited as a final, closing track — but the album is still well paced in that those following songs feel very much like they’re being played in the gaping shadow of Not. the mood moves inward, becomes reflective; the space narrows..

alec: the only thing narrowing is.. My patience

secat: ha HA! good one. but you can’t get me to stop. i will never leave this room. I WILL DIE IN HERE

alec: i made croissants tho :((

secat: shitt why didn’t you say so! i’ll be right out


Secat is a musician and writer based in Houston, Texas. To see more of their work, you can follow them on Twitter (@secatsecat) or check out their personal blog at

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