On Widowspeak’s “All Yours,” The Sugar High Is Gone

Two instruments vie for notice in Widowspeak’s music — Molly Hamilton’s pretty, ethereal voice and Robert Earl Thomas’s canny, spare guitar.  We have raved about their earlier work, but also worried that what Hamilton and Thomas too often deliver yields a sugar high.  Earlier work has been short on the gritty substance needed to sustain interest, not just over the long haul, but over a single album.  And yet, from the moment early in the summer that we heard “Girls,” a standout track on their recently released All Yours, it was clear that Widowspeak have matured into the fine band they have promised to be ever since the release of their initial, Jarvis Tavaniere-produced album.

The connection to Woods goes beyond Tavaniere, as All Yours reportedly comprises Hamilton and Thomas recording with Woods’ rhythm section in bucolic Columbia County.  Emigrants from Brooklyn, the couple have removed themselves from the hipsters’ paradise and by the banks of the Hudson produced their best music yet.  There were moments on Almanac, their second record, that were magical, but it was too often a cloying confection.  On All Yours, the songwriting is strong, the singing is gorgeous without being thinner than air, and Thomas’s guitar work shows lean muscle mass.  Think of the best tracks Syd Straw cut with The Golden Paliminos, Neko Case singing with the Mekons.  This is one dream pop album that sticks in your head even as the substance sticks to your ribs.

One Response to “On Widowspeak’s “All Yours,” The Sugar High Is Gone”

  1. […] their music with fresh Hudson Valley air, and any cloying sensibilities have been washed away.  The sugar high is gone, we happily declared with All Yours came out in September, and it was a wonderful backdrop to […]

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