Buck Meek Shares a Playlist of His Friends’ Music That Inspired “Two Saviors”

With his latest collection of solo recordings out now, the Big Thief guitarist shares 12 tracks that remind him that “every song is a prayer.”

In between contributing to records that will almost certainly emotionally level you with Big Thief, Buck Meek has set out on his own in recent years to share the considerably more relaxed rural folk sketches he pens as a solo artist. With his second release since Big Thief’s breakthrough LP Capacity out today, Two Saviors is a continuation of the soft singer-songwriter anthems introduced on 2018’s introductory self-titled solo album. 

Removed from the context of a folk-oriented full-band sound, Meek’s gentle campfire sing-a-longs echo the intimacy of fellow Thiefer Adrianne Lenker’s recordings, though a bit more indebted to the circle of acoustic guitar-wielding cohorts he runs with. His classic country-western croon sets his music firmly within the realm inhabited by acts like Duff Thompson and The Brothers Brothers—even on the soaring, lo-fi rocker “Ham on Rye.”

In honor of the new record’s release date, Meek listed a few more of his influences on the record, detailing twelve songs written by close friends. “Nothing inspires me more than my friends,” he shares. “The communities of writers and musicians that I have been so lucky to be a part of—from Texas to New York, Los Angeles, and throughout the world on tour—humble and stir and remind me that every song is a prayer.”

Hear the playlist below, and listen to Two Saviors here.

Iji, “Bound 2 Glory” 

Zach Burba is an ambassador extraordinaire for the ephemeral and the everlasting powers of musical community. These two songs reveal his generosity in full color, and serve as a cipher for this playlist. 

Iji, “They Play” 

“You should have seen this kid play! She was dynamite, she was wiling out on a Tuesday night, you’d have lost control, you’d probably still believe in the rock and roll.” 

Relatives, “Relationship” 

Katie Vogel and Ian Mclellan Davis may be the most genuinely humble geniuses I’ve ever met. 

0 Stars, “Zero”

When Mikey Buishas isn’t quilting, making clothing, throwing pottery, tuning pianos, developing negatives in the darkroom, Gaga dancing, playing the cello, playing the mbira, playing the trumpet, learning Italian, drawing cartoons, or making fresh pasta and canneles, he’s writing beautiful heartbreaking songs like “Zero.” 

Luke Temple, “Henry in Forever Phases” 

Luke is among the wildest storytellers in my life, and writes with the newness of a great inventor. 

Twain, “Walking” 

“When I was a baby, god and I went walking, in teenage Volvo music we all heard our god talking. Hermapholightnoos being, seeing without seeing, angels on the radio and heaven in the reading.”

Duff Thomspon, “Haywire” 

Seeing Duff Thompson live will make you believe in rock and roll. The moment I heard this song, it hit me so hard I was thrown into a kaleidoscope of memories for hours. 

Jolie Holland, “Palmyra”

“I’ll dance at your funeral if you dance at mine” has been my favorite line of any song ever for twelve consecutive years now.

Fell Runner, “Talking” 

This is what it sounds like when X-Game level athletes like Steven Van Betten study African music deeply then start a rock and roll band.

The Deer, “Winter to Pry” 

I’ve looked up to Grace Rowland and Jesse Dalton since I was sixteen years old in Wimberley, Texas, sneaking into college parties to play manouche guitar with the jazz students at Texas State in San Marcos. They have taught me so much about the power of hidden symbols to provide meaning, and to not underestimate the listener’s capacity to find it. 

The Brother Brothers, “Frankie” 

Adam and David Moss are identical twins and there is a mysticism in their blood harmony singing that always gives me chills.

Phillip Weinrobe, “Dan” 

Phil possesses a soft strength and kindness that single handedly makes the world a better place, and the honesty with which he writes fills me with courage.

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