Adrianne Lenker – ‘symbol’

Adrianne Lenker, probably best known for her work with indie rock band Big Thief, began writings at the age of 10, but due to constant touring and studio work, has found the last few years to be the most prolific for her writin work. Her new album, ‘abysskiss’, out through Saddle Creek, and we write about the track ‘symbol’ here.

Speaking of her music, Lenker explains,

I want to archive the songs in their original forms every few years. My first solo record I made was Hours Were the Birds. I had just turned 21 and moved to New York City where I was sleeping in a warehouse, working in a restaurant, and photographing pigeons. Now five years later, another skin is being shed.

Lenker went into the studio with longtime friend Luke Temple, after a two week road trip across the southwestern US, and the pair made music, choosing the songs which to them felt the most alive. Of these, ‘symbol’, which was dubbed by Pitchfork as “best new track”, she strips down the track to its very elements; it’s Adrianne and a guitar, and that’s it.

The video for ‘symbol’ was shot at Coney Island, and directed by Adam Gundersheimer, and V Haddad. It takes an “autobiographical” approach, by focusing not on the boardwalk or the theme parks, but rather the people there, capturing intimate moments, tiny stories of people’s lives.

Speaking of the video, the directors say,

The sincerity and intimacy of symbol inspired us to take a documentary approach to the music video…. The project is a sort of tribute and love letter to New York City, Coney Island, and all of the people who make those places so special. We spent a couple of days walking the boardwalk and taking video portraits of people we met. We documented whatever they felt like sharing. It was such a warm experience – each person was so giving.

You can find out more about Adrianne Lenker on her official website.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email

Leave a Reply