WIDOWSPEAK

Published on March 29th, 2022

Widowspeak by Alexa Viscius

When the Brooklyn indie rock duo Widowspeak — singer Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas — released the title track and video for their sixth album, “The Jacket,” this winter, they added a covering note that sounded almost valedictory.

The jacket in the song, they wrote, is an article of clothing representing “all the cliches (imagined and real) of being in a band, rock and roll, youth, projecting ‘cool’ (or thinking you do),” they wrote, “and believing in the power of symbols and costume to help find and define your true self.”

So if the new album sounds like a trip through time, that’s probably no accident. The mood is reflective for a partnership that started in 2010. On new songs “While You Wait” and “Everything Is Simple,” Hamilton’s beautiful, ethereal voice is like a ’90s college radio dream, summoning Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star and Margo Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. The songs dwell in a state of tuneful melancholy that makes you long for rain and a full day in bed to just nod along as you play them on repeat.

Thomas sketches out opening chords for the title track, and then switches on a fuzz tone that flashes forward to the turn of the millennium, when a sleeker breed of garage rock band like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Raveonettes was making noise.

Widowspeak’s own persona is the kind you might find in a cocktail lounge in a David Lynch movie, never more so than in their faithful, early-career rendition of Chris Isaak’sWicked Game.” But the new material represents a leap forward in the band’s assuredness and its capacity to stay in a listener’s subconscious.

Bootleg footage of their past concerts show a band able to translate their moody atmospherics to the stage. They’re the openers for singer-songwriter Clairo on “The Sling Tour” visiting Miami Beach in April, so be sure to arrive in time to experience a sound that can have you jangling through the fourth dimension.

Widowspeak open for Clairo 8pm Wednesday, April 13 at the Fillmore Miami Beach, widowspeakforever.com ~ David Rolland

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