Scoring not one but two albums in Pitchfork’s year-end list of The 50 Best Albums of 2019 (U.F.O.F. and the excellent Two Hands), Brooklyn folk-rock four-piece Big Thief were already kind of a big deal. But last month arrived an arguably even bigger accolade: a listing on Barack Obama’s “Songs of the Year” playlist. With an editorial in The New York Times this year – “In Praise of Barack Obama, Music Critic” – the former president’s Spotify round-up has become one of the biggest annual events in music.
Does it make a difference to the band’s profile? Apparently, yes. Citing data from Nielsen, Billboard claimed that all 44 songs on Obama’s summer playlist saw a serious uptick in streams or sales (Who’s Loving You by Terence Trent D’Arby increased by a whopping 2,732 per cent).
Better move quickly, then, to bag tickets for Big Thief’s European tour dates: Madrid, 19 February; Barcelona, 20 Feb; London, 27 Feb; and Manchester, 1 March.