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Big Thief officially release much-loved live tune ‘Vampire Empire’

Every Monday, Add of the Week unveils all the new songs going into the 88Nine on-air playlist, with one hand-picked selection put in the spotlight by a member of our music team.

Big Thief’s intensely love-wound song “Vampire Empire” is not totally new. The band have included it as part of their live sets and even performed it on The Late Show with Steven Colbert this past spring. To Big Thief fans, this song isn’t just familiar; it’s beloved, falling into that “vibrational and emotional deluge” category that has easily endeared the band to their fans.

Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker recently explained the nexus of the song: “For me, it’s about getting out of toxic internal patterns — leaving the empire of energy drains that obscure pure essence, learning about what healthy boundaries are, and finding the power to implement them for the possibility of giving and receiving (both inwardly and outwardly) unbroken and infinite Love.”

Lenker both pours and battles out her heart and soul to her subject in a whirlwind of complicated but pure-intentioned focus.

In her vampire empire, I am falling, yeah / falling, yeah…
I wanted to be your woman, I wanted to be your man
I wanted to be the one that you could understand…
You spin me all around, then you ask me not to spin

“Vampire Empire” is a good, hard look at the potentiality of being swept away by new love and the importance of not falling into pre-worn patterns. It’s relatably, devastatingly human — as many of the best Big Thief songs are.

You can listen to “Vampire Empire” below and on 88Nine by tuning your FM dial in Milwaukee, or streaming worldwide on our website and mobile app. The song will also be available as part of a two-song 7-inch vinyl, which you can preorder now ahead of its release Oct. 20.

This week’s other adds

  • "The Well,” Briscoe
  • “Just the Once,” Metric
  • “The Trench Coat Museum,” Yard Act
  • “Thunderdome [W.T.A.],” Portugal. The Man (feat. Black Thought & Natalia Lafourcade)
  • “Road to Joy,” Peter Gabriel
  • “A Good Thing,” Claud 
88Nine Music Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee