Widowspeak 'S/T'

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To say that Widowspeak is a Northwest band is to tell a halftruth. After all they formed in a Brooklyn apartment thousands of miles to the east, and their guitarist has never even seen the Pacific Ocean. There are aspects of the band's sound abrasive guitar hooks, immediate drumming, and incessant codas that speak to living in a big city. But there's also a dreary sparseness, a David Lynch-esque darkness, culled from the other members native Washington. Singer/songwriter Molly Hamilton grew up in an old house in Tacoma, drummer Michael Stasiak in nearby Lakewood. While grunge put Seattle on the map and Riot Grrl and the DIY aesthetic are synonymous with Olympia, Tacoma remains grittier, darker even. Infamous for the acrid smell of its paper mills, this blue-collar city somehow fosters a fertile music community if few outsiders know about it. Michael and Molly first crossed paths in that tight-knit scene, both contributing to a local compilation label. The label lasted all of one summer before half its roster decamped for New York.

Widowspeak was recorded at Rear House with Jarvis Taveniere of Woods, and documents Widowspeak s inaugural year. In a relaxed studio setting songs born from their first jittery practices could breathe. The trio expanded their modest instrumentation while retaining a sparse aesthetic. The resulting record offers an eerie ambience, at times channeling 1950's jukebox pop, at others, 1960 s psychedelia. While garnering comparisons to slow-moving 1990's acts such as Mazzy Star or Cat Power, Widowspeak have defined a sound that's earnestly nostalgic, and increasingly confident. Even so, these are songs about heartache. They are songs about homesickness, about longing for pine forests, reckless youth, and dark nights in strange cities.

1. Puritan
2. Harsh Realm
3. Nightcrawlers
4. In The Pines
5. Limbs
6. Gun Shy
7. Hard Times
8. Fir Coat
9. Half Awake
10. Ghost Boy