UK-born and now New York-based artist Fenne Lily announces Big Picture, her new album out April 14th on Dead Oceans, and presents its lead single/video, “Lights Light Up.” She also announces a month-plus North American co-headline tour with Christian Lee Hutson, as well as a UK and EU run, on sale this Friday, January 20th at 10am local time. A gorgeous and gripping portrait of Fenne’s last two years, Big Picture was pieced together in an effort to self-soothe and offers a brilliant catharsis. Tracked live in co-producer Brad Cook’s North Carolina studio, the album delineates the phases of love and becomes a map of comfort vs. claustrophobia. “Writing this album was my attempt at bringing some kind of order to the disaster that was 2020,” Fenne states. “By documenting the most vulnerable parts of that time, I felt like I reclaimed some kind of autonomy.”
This collision of repose and harsh reality is laid bare in Big Picture’s lead single “Lights Light Up,” a prophetic and insightful account of love at its temporary best. Written partially as a conversation, it tracks the tender details of a burgeoning relationship and recognizes the transitory nature of any shared thing; the bittersweet truth that you can only walk hand in hand with someone as long as you’re going in the same direction. With delicately interwoven guitar lines, propulsive rhythm and a chorus that offers the feeling of a voicemail left by someone from your past, it feels at once deeply personal and universal.
“and you said so do you ever wanna leave here / and I said well that depends on the day
and you said oh do you even wanna be here / and I said well that depends on the way”
“I’d never really written about love in the present tense before this, but even though I was still in love and not thinking about the end, there was something else going on subconsciously that led to a song about moving on before the moving on had begun,” comments Fenne. “When it came time to record, the band and I had been playing it live for a while and it’d become something joyful and positive, but when I started recording vocals, the lyrics made me cry. By that point the song was over a year old and I thought those wounds had healed but I guess it hurt to admit I’d been letting go of something while still trying to hold on.” The song’s accompanying video, shot throughout Brooklyn, was directed by Haoyan of America.
Though its creation took place amid personal and global turmoil, the ruminative yet candid Big Picture is Fenne’s most cohesive, resolute work to date, both lyrically and sonically. “This isn’t a sad album — it’s about as uplifting as my way of doing things will allow,” she says. “These songs explore worry and doubt and letting go, but those themes are framed brightly.” With confidence and quiet strength, each track provides insight into Fenne’s ever-changing view of love and, ultimately, its redefinition — love as a process, not something to be lost and found.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Tyrone Delaney