‘Capacity’, like its predecessor, the sardonically-yet-actually-quite-accurately-named ‘Masterpiece’, takes self-acceptance as its central theme. A 40-minute meditation on the peace found by embracing life’s bright and rainy moments – the sunshine, the gloom and everything in between – it is a gorgeous collection of songs that explores not only the deep resilience of the human psyche but every nook and cranny of the folk rock spectrum. This feels like an album that’s had tears shed over its conception; been obsessed over long into the night as songs are tried and tried in countless arrangements. While its melodies float weightlessly, the songs are taught and full of unreleased tension.
The production is deft, and ‘Coma’’s segue from a lo-fi acoustic number to a wave of luscious layers shows just how far the New York band have come in a short space of time. This music comes from a great American lineage that goes back to the early folk revivalists, but that has been shaped by sounds fired in the kilns of Dylan, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, et al. I do not say it lightly that with ‘Capacity’ Big Thief can proudly sit as worthy baton-carriers of such forebears.