Widowspeak – All Yours Review

Widowspeak are an American indie rock duo from Brooklyn, New York signed to Captured Records. The band formed in 2010, by guitarist and singer Molly Hamilton and her friend Michael Stasiak who met with current guitarist Robert Earl Thomas and began practicing. The band released their debut album ‘Widowspeak’ in August 2011 to critical acclaim, recruiting bassist Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh for their subsequent tours. After touring extensively for the first album Stasiak and Garavano-Coolbaugh left the band and at the beginning of 2012 Widowspeak began work on their second album ‘Almanac’. Fast forward to 2015 and Widowspeak have released their third album ‘All Yours’, a honed and elegant interweaving of dream-pop and slowcore rock and roll, easygoing melodies and dusty, snaking guitars.

From the start ‘All Yours’ harbors a laidback and delicate, yet intrinsically complex atmosphere that instantly allows the listener to sit back and relax. The album has a distinct natural and organic feel, allowing the melodies to dip and weave delicately between one another. The songs intertwine, each complimenting the other allowing them to form part of an overall aesthetically pleasing narrative, each with its own and distinct energy yet never feeling out of sorts. Molly’s soft vocal harmonies are laid bare on each track, accompanied by Rob’s brilliantly economical guitar playing, showing his clear adoration for artists such as George Harrison. Each track set alight by the beautifully atmospherics, allowing each song to stand-alone yet be part of a wider coexistence within the album. The track opens with two delicately relaxed tracks, precision guitars underpinned by sharp, snappy drums, accompanied by the equally alluring and soft voice of Molly. The album picks up pace, slightly, garnering a more upbeat feel yet never quite boiling over, simmering delicately and enticing the listener, tantalizing them with every melody that drifts in and out. Tracks such as ‘Girls’ expand on the drum, guitar, vocal trio, bringing in smooth harmonicas, giving the track a distinct country feel yet still allowing the duo to stay true the sound they want to achieve. The time it has taken to produce the album has clearly paid off; the creatively draining conceptual process of writing ‘Almanac’ and the EP ‘Swamps’ has been removed. During the writing of the album the duo took a step back, took time off from the pressures of song writing, focusing on other things. They found a house they could play music in, Molly went back to school, and Rob took a job at a hotel, writing leisurely between voice memos and late night jamming sessions in their living room. Through this process of writing what came naturally, without any overarching vision, the lyrics for the album were written, flowing seamlessly in between each song Molly’s vocals a perfect accompaniment. Tracks such as ‘Borrowed World’ pick up the tempo, a moving bass line makes for a more upbeat feel yet always in keeping with the energy and sound that album possesses, keeping within the sound created by the duo, a soundscape that is aesthetically pleasing, with Moly taking a step back from the vocals and allowing Rob to showcase his own vocal skills. Tracks such as ‘Coke Bottle Green’ with its solo acoustic guitar, paint a more intimate painting of the duo excellently showcasing Molly’s’ sublime vocal talent.

The whole album has a feeling of effortlessly unplanned chic, as though the duo were never concerned with pushing the boundaries of their musical talents but just allowing themselves to enjoy playing and creating, appreciating the energy that is produced when writing and producing music. You get the feeling that the duo didn’t feel pushed into producing an album that will fit into a certain box or has a particular message but just simply enjoying the creativity of writing and playing. The album manages to create 10 songs all with the own unique feel yet manage to work so well together, allowing the duo to showcase their talent for writing and producing. The album feels as though it captures a moment or mood within their lives, the effortlessly unplanned sound and laidback atmosphere a testament to the duos skills.

Widowspeak – All Yours = 8/10

Matthew Kay

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