Big Thief: Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You Album Review

Big Thief, the innovative indie rock band, has taken a daring leap with their fifth album, “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You.” This collection of twenty songs offers a musical adventure filled with imagination, beauty, and humor. Through this album, Big Thief breaks free from their past and embraces a new sonic landscape, inviting listeners to embark on a journey of artistic evolution and self-discovery.

Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You Album Overview

“Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You” is a departure from Big Thief’s earlier works, an ambitious exploration of musical possibilities. The album spans a wide range of genres, from trip-hop to country, creating a colorful tapestry of sounds. It’s a twenty-song odyssey that captivates the listener’s attention, pushing the boundaries of the band’s previous catalog. While the album lacks the concise cohesion of their previous efforts, it makes up for it with a fearless spirit of experimentation and a willingness to explore uncharted territory.

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Track Analysis

The album’s tracks offer a diverse array of musical experiences. From the ethereal echoes of trip-hop in “Blue Lightning” to the foot-stomping hoedown of “Red Moon,” each song presents a unique sonic palette. Tracks like “Spud Infinity” and “Red Moon” incorporate elements of folk, country, and even a jaw harp, adding a touch of whimsy to the album’s overall atmosphere. The inclusion of electronic beats in “Blurred View” and “Heavy Bend” demonstrates the band’s willingness to embrace modern sounds while maintaining their distinctive style.

Production and Instrumentation

The album’s production is a testament to Big Thief’s creative vision. The interplay between instruments is a highlight, with drummer James Krivchenia, guitarist Buck Meek, and bassist Max Oleartchik creating a dynamic and immersive sonic landscape. The production choices, such as the synthetic brass in “Blue Lightning,” add unexpected twists that keep the listener engaged. The incorporation of various instruments and textures showcases the band’s commitment to pushing their musical boundaries.

Songwriting and Lyrics

Adrianne Lenker’s songwriting takes center stage on “Dragon.” The lyrics explore a wide range of themes, from everyday experiences to cosmic ponderings. Lenker’s lyrical prowess shines through in tracks like “Change,” where she juxtaposes elemental forces with human emotions. Her willingness to disrupt rhyme schemes, as seen in “Sparrow,” adds a layer of unpredictability to the album’s storytelling. The lyrics serve as a window into the human experience, offering moments of introspection and relatability.

Vocal Performance

Lenker’s vocal performance is a highlight of the album. Her voice carries a raw and emotive quality that resonates with listeners. Whether she’s delivering heartfelt ballads or delving into more experimental tracks, her vocals remain a constant source of connection. Lenker’s ability to convey a range of emotions through her voice adds depth and authenticity to the album’s narrative.

Comparisons and Influences

“Dragon” draws inspiration from a diverse range of genres and artists. The album’s experimental nature and genre-blurring approach evoke comparisons to iconic releases like “The White Album” by The Beatles. There are moments that hint at influences from folk legends like John Prine and Michael Hurley, particularly in tracks like “Spud Infinity.” While Big Thief’s unique identity remains intact, these influences contribute to the album’s rich and eclectic sonic palette.

Emotional Impact

The emotional impact of “Dragon” is palpable. The album’s exploration of themes like love, connection, and human experience resonates deeply with listeners. Tracks like “The Only Place” deliver poignant reflections on mortality and companionship, leaving a lasting impression. The album’s ability to evoke both introspection and joy showcases its emotional depth and range.

Target Audience

“Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You” will likely resonate with a diverse audience. Fans of Big Thief’s previous works will appreciate the band’s growth and willingness to experiment. The album’s sonic diversity and lyrical depth make it appealing to listeners who seek both artistic innovation and emotional resonance in their music.


While “Dragon” is a commendable exploration of new musical territories, its lack of cohesive narrative may be challenging for some listeners. The album’s sprawling nature may require multiple listens to fully appreciate its nuances and connections. Additionally, the incorporation of certain elements, such as the jaw harp in “Spud Infinity,” may come across as jarring or overly quirky to some listeners.

Personal Insights

“Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You” captivates with its adventurous spirit and fearless creativity. The album’s willingness to blend genres, experiment with instrumentation, and explore a wide range of themes showcases Big Thief’s evolution as artists. While the lack of strict cohesion may be unconventional, it adds an element of surprise and discovery to the listening experience. As someone who appreciates artistic risk-taking and the exploration of new sonic frontiers, “Dragon” is a testament to the power of musical innovation.


“Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You” stands as a testament to Big Thief’s artistic evolution and willingness to take risks. With its kaleidoscopic exploration, unburdened playfulness, and profound lyricism, the album creates a unique musical journey. While its sprawling nature may challenge some listeners, it ultimately rewards those who embark on its sonic adventure. Through its diverse sounds and introspective themes, “Dragon” solidifies Big Thief’s place as a band unafraid to explore uncharted musical territories and connect with audiences on a deep emotional level.

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