After a year without a record, which saw band members Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek release solo albums, the prolific and wondrous Big Thief have announced their return. The New York-based quartet's third LP is called U.F.O.F. and comes out through their new label 4AD on May 3rd.

The new album was recorded at Bear Creek in Washington and pushes Big Thief's mystical sound into more realms of the unknown. Speaking on this, Adrianne Lenker says “Making friends with the unknown… All my songs are about this. If the nature of life is change and impermanence, I’d rather be uncomfortably awake in that truth than lost in denial.”

U.F.O.F. stands for UFO Friend, and the title track has been shared today. Big Thief immediately enshroud the listener in a silky folk-rock, like a blanket thrown about the shoulders as we bid a heartbreaking farewell to the titular ally; "just like a bad dream you’ll disappear." Despite the fragile situation described, the song is overflowing with love and affection for its subject and nature encroaching on all sides; "I don’t need any other friends/ the best kiss i ever had is the flickering of the water/ so clear and bright." Experimenting with more atmospheric and unusual sounds than we've heard from them before, Big Thief cultivate this feeling of an encounter with a supernatural being, delivering a scene and an overwhelming feeling that is reminiscent of the finales of Spielberg's extra-terrestrial classics E.T. and Close Encounters.

You can pre-order Big Thief's U.F.O.F. ahead of its May 3rd release right here. They've got a lot of tour dates coming up, here are the Euro ones:

May 18 - LEEDS, GB, Brudenell Social Club **SOLD OUT**
May 19 - GLASGOW, GB, SWG3
May 21 - DUBLIN, IE, Vicar Street
May 22 - MANCHESTER, GB, The Ritz
May 23 – LONDON, GB, Roundhouse
May 24 – BRISTOL, GB, SWX
May 26 - CAMBRIDGE, GB, Cambridge Junction
May 27 – PARIS, FR, Trabendo
May 28 - BRUSSELS, BE, Orangerie
May 30 - BARCELONA, ES, Primavera Sound
May 31 - NÎMES, FR, This Is Not a Love Song Festival
June 2 - AMSTERDAM, NL, Best Kept Secret
June 3-6 – MARINA DI RAVENNA, IT, Beaches Brew Festival
June 3 - BERLIN, DE, Lido
June 4 - ZURICH, CH, Bogen F
June 8 - PORTO, PT, NOS Privavera Sound
August 6-10 - OSLO, NO, Oya Festival
August 8 – COPENHAGEN, DK, Lille Vega
August 15-18 – BRECON BEACONS, GB, Green Man Festival
August 16 - HASSELT, BE, Pukkelpop Festival

Keep up with The 405's Tracks of the Day in our 2019 playlist, updated every weekday.