07.12.2015 — “Girls” by Widowspeak


If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Girls” by Widowspeak (2015, from the forthcoming album All Yours). Widowspeak is a dream pop/dream folk duo from somewhere in the Catskills Mountains. They’d been operating out of Brooklyn for a while, and had as many as four members at one time, but now it’s down to just Molly Hamilton (vocals/guitar) and Robert Earl Thomas (guitar). After the 2013 album Almanac, they headed for the mountains and took their time with the new record. They’ve been on Captured Tracks for a few years, and have released two full length albums and an EP since 2011. The band’s third long player —All Yours— will be released on September 4 via Captured Tracks, and the label and the PR firm have already begun a promotional push for the album. I got an advance copy a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve really been enjoying it. When people write about Widowspeak, it’s almost inevitable for there to be a reference to Mazzy Star. I’ve never really seen a connection, and one has never reminded me of the other. That said, it would be fair to say that Widowspeak is slightly psychedelic, dreamy folk music. And obviously, the same is said of Mazzy Star, and of Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions. If I had to draw a comparison, I’d say that Widowspeak is like a bizarre marriage of Black-Eyed Man-era Cowboy Junkies and Brighten The Corners-era Pavement, with a dash of Neko Case solo stuff. Then again, it might be simpler to say “for fans of Mazzy Star”, even if it’s a comparison that I’m not particularly fond of. This has been an extraordinary year for new releases, and I’m always busy listening to stuff. Even though I’ve got the Bully record, the SOAK record, and the Courtney Barnett record on infinite repeat at home and in the car, I still find time to listen to other new records. This full album has gotten several repeated listens in the ten days that I’ve had it, and if I had my druthers, I might choose a different song to feature. My favorite from the album is “Coke Bottle Green”, but as of right now, the only thing that’s available for sharing is tonight’s song “Girls”. It’s a very good song that gets better with each repeated listen. “Girls” by Widowspeak I’ll admit that part of what makes me think of Cowboy Junkies is the fact that there’s harmonica and some sort of lap steel guitar, but there are other things in the album that make me think, even vaguely, of Cowboy Junkies. In the last minute of the song, when it’s basically just drums and organ, there’s some trick going on with the drums. I don’t know the track is doubled, or if there’s some sort of delay or something applied to the drum track, but it has a really cool Beatles-esque sound to it. It’s worth mentioning that on the new album, they employed Jarvis Taveniere (bass) and Aaron Neveu (drums) to hold down the rhythm section. Taveniere also produced the new album as well as the first Widowspeak album. He and Neveu both play in the Brooklyn-based freak-folk band Woods. They haven’t yet opened the pre-sale for physical copies of the album, but make a bookmark for Captured Tracks, and keep checking back. I’m sure it’ll open soon. You can pre-order a digital download via iTunes and get an instant download of tonight’s song.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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