Thursday, 23 February 2012


I've got some more substantial posts on the way, but I thought I'd just share this first:

The band are called Widowspeak and the song above is the opening track on their self-titled debut album, which was released last year. I bought a copy a couple of weeks ago and it's ace. They build up songs brilliantly and this track in particular makes me feel like such a don when I'm marching around town.

One article I read drew comparisons to Mazzy Star and Cat Power, which is mega kudos in my book. They're clearly very influenced by the sound of the 90s, no more apparent than in singer Molly Hamilton's too-cool-for-school vocals, which are layered beautifully with heavy reverb and busy, trebly guitars. They actually really remind me of the Howling Bells or, rather, what the Howling Bells might've sounded like if they'd been trendy Brooklyn hipsters (in a good way).

The one criticism I could make of the album is that, whilst Widowspeak clearly know how to layer and build songs, the shoegazey style of the vocals sometimes comes across a little too impassive, which occasionally causes the build-ups to fall a bit flat. As a listener, I got slightly frustrated at times because the band seemed almost too cool and detached; in tracks like 'Harsh Realm', for instance, i just wished Hamilton could've sounded a bit more... pained?

These are pretty minor grumbles though - the whole album is very smart and I'd love to see it live. I also really like the Rennie Macintosh-influenced cover art, which definitely fits well with the sense of nostalgia Widowspeak's sound evokes.

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