WIDOWSPEAK – purveyors of their own invented genre, “Cowboy Grunge” – return with a new London date and new album, Expect The Best, out 25th August via Captured Tracks.
At the heart of the band, there is a palpable duality, a push and pull between the delicate and the deliberate: the contrast of lead singer-songwriter Molly Hamilton’s strikingly beautiful voice and poignant melodies with the terrestrial reality of being a four-piece rock band. These songs sound like the dark bars and rock clubs they were imagined for just as much as the bedrooms where they were written. Expect the Best sees Widowspeak finding their greatest balance between opposing forces: darkness and light, quiet and loud, tension and calm.
The album, recorded by Kevin MacMahon (Swans, Real Estate), exhibits a marked increase in energy that reflects the band’s live show and the organic way it was created: by four people in a room together. The band collectively navigate dynamic changes with subtlety and restraint; the nine tracks here reach highs of wide-eyed lushness and plumb the depths of resigned melancholy. Their usual palette of dusty guitars and angular twang are still here front and centre, but now with a bit more 90s homage, even if abstractly. It’s their heaviest record to date, but never loses the sense of quiet intimacy that Widowspeak is known for.