The first time I listened to this album, I wanted to be sat in the bath. I felt that I needed to be embraced by the warmth of the water, feeling each word that fell from Adrienne’s mouth wash over me, hoping to distract myself from the emotion that would arise. I left my face flushed and eyes blurry. I’m glad that I’m alive.

Studying love in its entirety, Bright Future takes on a life of its own, chasing its tail for answers. Beginning with Real House, the past arrives first. Transporting us back to a place we once were, creating a unique dimension as one by one each musician finds their place and settles in. Created by Lenker and some of her “favourite people,” Bright Future is a gift, a moment in time where the stars align. Created in her forest-hidden analog studio, Double Infinity, Adrienne Lenker was joined by Philip Weinrobe, Nick Hakim and Josefin Runsteen to capture sessions with the purest, technical honesty.

Sadness As A Gift follows. Reminding us that time is chasing us down, Lenker’s voice eddying around, keeping her poetry aloft. An effective statement, a realisation that not everything is meant to work out, not every love deserves a happy ending. It doesn’t always work out. But that’s okay, sadness is indeed a gift and allowing ourselves to feel such emotion so deeply will inevitably allow us to move forward and to be able to love harder and stronger, the next time we are blessed with such an opportunity.

Felt in every crevice of this album is the knowledge that the heart has returned. No longer left with an aching wound, Lenker comes to us unarmoured and open to letting love back in, even if it doesn’t ultimately work out. Centring the album is Evol, studying love in a mirror. Meaning is fleeting and words are reversed, contradictions roam freely all while Lenker’s lyrical mastery dances through the air.

Although recorded in a matter of days which seemingly felt like forever, Bright Future is an album that has left a mark on my soul and will remain always.

Adrienne Lenker: Bright Future – Out 22nd March 2024 (4AD)

lenker – sadness as a gift (official lyric video) (

Megan Barton

Meg is a proud Mancunian and Music Journalist. She started out by writing press releases for bands in her free time, but now runs her own website Dyrti which she plans to expand in the near future. She loves Lester Bangs and Tony Wilson and has interviewed bands such as Cabbage, Oceans On Mars and Adult Cinema. You will more often than not find her somewhere in the Northern Quarter.