The summer after graduating from Berklee College of Music, Adrianne Lenker moved to New York City. She met Buck Meek the day she moved there, at a corner market called Mr. Kiwi (although, technically they had already played a show together in Boston, so they recognized each other but weren’t sure from where). The two explored the city by bicycle and eventually began to play songs together. “It was one of those friendships that developed extremely fast where suddenly you’re each other’s best friend,” Lenker says. “We hung out every day from the moment we met.”
Meek’s off-kilter, piercing guitar licks and solos are the perfect juxtaposition to bring Lenker’s melodic and stirring vocals and lyrics to fruition. “I guess what struck me as a songwriter then was that her songs all seemed to be really human, and really emotional, and really honest — vulnerable — but at the same time they all somehow had this ineffable quality,” Meek says. “Like, all of that human content was serving as a medium for something beyond.”
Soon they picked up a white conversion van, named her Bonnie, and made touring their whole lives. In 2014, songs crafted on the road were captured on two EPs released under the Buck and Anne moniker: one called a-sides and one called b-sides. Both warm, acoustic affairs.
In the ensuing years, Adrianne and Buck joined with Max Oleartchik and James Krivchenia to form Big Thief, one of the most beloved bands in music today. a-sides and b-sides provide an early glimpse at what was soon to come, while standing on their own as documents of a deeply meaningful time in the creative lives of Lenker and Meek.