Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the summer, you’d know that JOVM mainstay act Widowspeak will be releasing their third full-length album Expect The Best through Captured Tracks Records next week. And as you may recall, the album’s first single “Dog,” as Widowspeak’s Molly Hamilton told NPR is “about the compulsion to move on from things and places, even people when you’re not necessarily ready to. Sometimes I get caught up in ‘the grass is always greener’ mentalities or cling to an idea that ‘I’d be happy if . . .’ and make a drastic change. Then inevitably, I feel restless a few months later and it stars again.” While sonically, the song will further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting moody and hazy guitar pop that channels Mazzy Star, the song possesses a restless and ambivalent vibe as it captures an easily bored and frustrated narrator, who desperately yearns for more and more and more.
Expect The Best‘s second single“When I Tried” is a slow, churning blues with layers of jangling, guitar pedal effect guitars paired with a propulsive yet simple drum pattern which Hamilton’s aching yet ethereal vocals float over, and much like its preceding single, captures a bored and frustrated narrator, who yearns for more and more — and yet feels hopelessly stuck and confused. Interestingly though, as Hamilton explained to Stereogum “I didn’t go into this record trying to make every song about feeling stuck, or about self-doubt or anxiety. Those feelings aren’t really what you want to proclaim to the world or make a whole record about, even if it’s the truth. But, in the end, it ended up making more sense to be honest. ‘When I Tried’ is about when I was having a hard time starting things, or finishing them, maybe due to my own expectations of what it would turn into or maybe due to me doubting that I’d even be able to make it happen at all . . . I wasn’t sure what the motivation was anymore. Not specifically related to music, or creative work, but to everything. I wanted to get out and be social to take my mind off it, but I had a hard time keeping that up, too. It’s hard to keep up the effort of trying.”
“The Dream,” Expect The Best‘s third and latest single manages to continue with the permanently restless and unhappy vibe of someone who has picked up and left things behind with the hopes of something better, only to find that she can’t ever escape herself, and that perhaps as a result, things never really change; in fact, the song’s title, along with the album’s title possess an ironic duality — that being hopeful in a bleak world means expecting terrible things and knowing how to deal with them or to survive, and that dreams can become waylaid or averted. And yet, one has to keep on trying because — well, anything else is death, right? Sonically speaking, the song is a lush and sublime, dream-like reverie of a song in which Hamilton’s ethereal crooning is paired with jangling guitars, twangy pedal; but right underneath the surface is a familiar ache of reality slapping you in the face yet again.
The band recently announced updated tour dates, which include a handful of new American dates and a European tour, which will have them stop at one of my favorite cities in the entire world — Amsterdam. And if you’re in NYC, they’ll be playing Rough Trade on October 13, 2017. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.