Today’s Song: Adrianne Lenker Professes Desolation, Despair, & Heartbreak on Agonizing New Single “Ruined”

Adrianne Lenker © Germaine Dunes
Adrianne Lenker © Germaine Dunes
Big Thief singer Adrianne Lenker’s stunning vocals spew a tale of a devastating lost love on solo single “Ruined.”
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Stream: “Ruined” – Adrianne Lenker




How do you describe heartbreak? The pain of losing someone is often overwhelming and alienating. Loss is crushing. One may feel like they lose a part of themselves; it leaves them completely shattered. A story tinged in heartache, Adrianne Lenker’s “Ruined” ruminates in its own sadness to depict a sense of true heartbreak and how it can leave us lonely, desperate, and broken in pieces.

Ruined - Adrianne Lenker
Ruined – Adrianne Lenker
Until I’m brave enough to call you
I just fall through every time
I wish I’d waved when I saw you
I just watched you passing by
So much coming through, every hour too
Can’t get enough of you
You come around, I’m ruined

A lifelong musician, Lenker has always displayed sharp songwriting and warm, stylish vocals. The singer gained notoriety as the lead vocalist and songwriter for indie folk act Big Thief, whose fifth and most recent studio album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You was met with widespread critical acclaim. The group continues to receive praise for its modern, colorful, and expansive take on the folk genre.

In the midst of the 2020 COVID pandemic Lenker found time to release the healing solo album songs which, with incredible grace, gave fans an intimate look into the songwriter’s life and artistry while simultaneously exhibiting an enhanced display of Lenker’s musical strengths.



“Ruined” begins with ultra soft, melancholic strumming which melds into slow-going piano chords, nicely setting the somber tone of the track.

The atmospheric reverb lets the music ring in a way that is glassy, fragile, and beautiful, allowing the piano to wallow at a depressing pace. “I just fall through every time, I wish I’d waved when I saw you,” Lenker professes, the singer’s soft vocal delivery sounding clear, simple, and sorrowful.

You gave me no answers
Nor asked me to lie
You just gave me an amethyst
From your jeweled vest as you cried
So much coming through, every hour too
Can’t get enough of you
You come around, I’m ruined

Lenker is fixated on past memories of their lost one. Images of sharing a basement and “an amethyst from your jeweled vest” drearily loom in Lenker’s mind, the wistful vocals sounding full of agony. “Can’t get enough of you,” she repeats on the chorus, completely broken at this loss of intimacy. A short piano solo towards the end of the track delivers a soft, almost tentative change in the rhythm sonically signifying the upsetting nature of the moment. A faint, discordant set of notes clash against the mix before the music trails into one last chorus. The repeated “ I’m ruined” sounding more soul crushing with each rendition.

We shared in the basement
As the fern bent to the window
And we drew to alignment
As the water soaked the pillow
So much coming through, every hour too
Can’t get enough of you
You come around, I’m ruined
Adrianne Lenker © Germaine Dunes
Adrianne Lenker © Germaine Dunes



Through intimate lyrics, minimal instrumental, and evocative vocals, “Ruined” perfectly encapsulates the overwhelming anguish of loss.

It’s rare to hear music sound so raw and intimate. Their soul laid bare, Adrianne Lenker masterfully delivers a transcendent display of vulnerability, loneliness, and true suffering, allowing the music to speak for itself through masterful storytelling.

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:: stream/purchase Ruined here ::
:: connect with Adrianne Lenker here ::
Stream: “Ruined” – Adrianne Lenker



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Ruined - Adrianne Lenker

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? © Germaine Dunes


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