Fenne Lily Shares New Single “Dawncolored Horse”

Fenne Lily presents her new single, “Dawncolored Horse,” from her forthcoming album, Big Picture, out April 14th on Dead Oceans. Following the lead single, “Lights Light Up,” “Dawncolored Horse” provides an uplifting meditation on the freedom that comes with closeness. Taking its title from a Richard Brautigan poem, “The Horse That Had A Flat Tire,” Fenne interprets the poem — and the song it inspired — to be a reflection of the idea that another person can become almost a sentient space in which to exist. “[Brautigan] talks about the woman he loves as being a ‘breathing castle.’ I truly don’t know what that means, but for me he’s distilled a feeling of absolute closeness. When you know someone so well it feels like you’re almost living inside them. That can be claustrophobic,” she adds, “but before it’s too much, it’s incredible.”
“A lot of the music I was listening to while I was writing seemed to be old kind of country stuff; the album Anymore For Anymore by Ronnie Lane and Slim Change was a big one (‘hear Roll On Babe from ’74’) — anything that sounded warm and comfortable, just people in a room playing what came most naturally. When I brought this song to the band it easily fell into that sort of world — it felt stable, which is cool for a song that came from a place of total instability.” Backing Fenne on vocals and rhythm guitar are Joe Sherrin (lead guitars), Kane Eagle (bass), James Luxton (drums), Phil Cook (banjo) and Brad Cook (mellotron).

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.” 
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. These 10 songs are Fenne’s first and only to have been written over the course of a relationship; 2018’s On Hold and 2020’s BREACH both confront the pain of retrospection, saying goodbye to a love that’s gone. Big Picturedoes the exact opposite — rooted firmly in the present, it traces the narrative of two people trying their hardest not to implode, together.
“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