“Shark Smile” by Big Thief

This past weekend I started to curate a playlist of music I’ve been enjoying lately – new discoveries and old favorites – to share with my partner. As much as I live to share music in a public forum, like this one, I find myself plagued with self-consciousness and a “what I like/love” version of imposter syndrome when faced with sharing my music with those closest to me. It feels more vulnerable even than having someone read my writing, or see me perform (back in the days when I used to act). I think its because music is so important to me, so precious, so embedded in me, that I feel too seen, too raw, too unmasked, too open for rejection.

But, I’m trying. Therapy is breaking me open, one crack at a time, and I’m learning to take my masks off – at least sometimes.

Today’s Song of the Day is one of the tracks on this playlist I’m making which I’ve tentatively titled Coffee Making Music. Perhaps I’ll share the whole shebang when she’s done.

“Shark Smile” by Big Thief
from the album, Capacity (2017)
Song of the Day – November 1, 2022

Big Thief – photo by Shervin Lainez

“Evelyn’s kiss was oxygen.
I leaned over to take it in.
As we went howling through the edge of south Des Moines.
It came over me at a bad time.
She burned over the double line.
She impaled as I reached my hand for the guardrail.”

“‘Shark Smile’ is the story of a car accident in which one dies and one lives,” singer and guitarist Adrianne Lenker writes in a press release. “She recalls her lover leading up to the moment of the wreck, wishing she’d been taken into the next realm, too.” – from NPR

To me, it struck me as a crush. Suppose that fits. I mean crushes can sure hit like a car crash. I know I’ve had a few that left me blood loss bruised and damaged.

Big Thief are from Brooklyn, New York. Though I heard them first in 2017, when this song, and the album Capacity, were released it was during the pandemic lockdown year of 2020 that I immersed myself in their music. The storytelling, and Adrianne’s voice, lifted me out of my overcrowded house and overwhelming fears, and took me far, far away.

Now that we are (mostly) out of pandemic times, I hope to get the chance to see Big Thief play live.

If you’d like to see them live, hear more of their music, and support Big Thief head on over HERE.

Big Thief – photo by Shervin Lainez

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