Widowspeak - Expect The Best LPCaptured Tracks
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Seven years in, Widowspeak remain purveyors of mood. Existing in a sonic overlap of indie rock, dream pop, downtrodden shoegaze, slow-core and invented "cowboy grunge", Widowspeak use familiar aesthetics as a narrative device, a purposeful nostalgic backdrop for songs that ask, "How did we get here?" Expect the Best, their fourth for Brooklyn's Captured Tracks, sees Widowspeak finding balance between opposing forces: darkness / light, quiet / loud, tension / calm. Moving around -- specifically the move back to the place where Hamilton grew up -- was the catalyst for a record concerned with self-examination and the sense of dread that comes from feeling adrift ("Dog"). Whether navigating anxieties in the digital age ("Expect the Best"), struggling for motivation ("When I Tried") or critiquing wanderlust and aspiration ("The Dream"), the songs here recognize you can't go back in time. The band navigates dynamic changes with subtlety and restraint; the nine tracks brim with both wide-eyed optimism and resigned melancholy. Their usual palette of dusty guitars and angular twang are still front and center, but now with a 90s homage, even if abstractly. It's perhaps their heaviest record to date, but never loses the sense of intimacy Widowspeak is known for.