Since we last checked in with Widowspeak at our CMJ Day Party, their star has only continued to rise. It’s always a good sign when, months after a band’s initial record release (and therefore, the peak in the PR hype cycle) their shows are more crowded than they were then. This Saturday night, Glasslands was completely packed-to-the-rafters sold out, which always gives this venue great energy. Clearly, Widowspeak has been busy since the release of their eponymous debut album on Captured Tracks. This show found the band leading off with a new song, “Camel” and playing a number of other new numbers, including some played for the first time.
While vocalist Molly Hamilton’s style has earned a few comparisons to artists like Cat Power, fortunately, her stage persona does not. Since the first time I saw the band, Hamilton has gained scads of confidence and poise – she smiles quite a lot onstage now, and her playing and delivery benefit from her positive attitude. Widowspeak are what I think of as a winter band – their downbeat sound is practically a touchstone of several of the members’ roots in the Pacific Northwest – but it’s a sound that, paradoxically, makes me happy. There’s the nostalgia aspect, sure, but there’s also the patient songcraft, the authenticity, and the strength of the band and its sound. Pretty much everything about Widowspeak is something I can pull for.
The band played on this night with a second guitarist, which gave songs like “In the Pines” (perhaps my favorite of all the band’s songs) new density and heft. Of the new material, the standout for me was “7 Minutes”, a slightly more upbeat guitar-driven track that is one of the most anthemic songs the band has attempted to date. The set closed with the band’s biggest song to date, “Harsh Realm”, another excellent song that is always a crowd pleaser.
In a collaboration with the new management team at Glasslands (also the team behing PopGun Booking), I recorded this set with a newly-installed recording rig provided for the club by nyctaper. Overall I am pleased with the results, with the caveat that you can hear some issues with one of the kick drum mics and one of the guitar amps at a few points in the recording. Enjoy!
Stream “7 Minutes”
Stream “In the Pines”
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Brooklyn, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard + Studio Projects LSD2 (XY cardiod, DFC)>Sound Devices USBPre2 >> Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition (Izotope Ozone effects, balance, downsample)>Audacity (set fades, tracking)>FLAC ( level 8 )
02 Gun Shy
03 Hard Times
07 Half Awake
09 In the Pines
10 7 Minutes
11 Harsh Realm