Widowspeak – Plum //Captured Tracks// DINKED #56 (Released 28th August)

£22.99

SKU: N/A Categories: ,
Clear
Share this:

£22.99 – Dinked Edition #56

  • Exclusive Green LP
  • 2 x exclusive art prints 2 by illustrator Nick Dahler
  • Signed & numbered

Limited pressing of 400

  1. The stone that’s buried: what the fruit is for.”So goes the title track fromPlum, Widowspeak’s forthcoming fifth album. The lineserves as an apt analogy for the record itself: the self-aware sweetness that the bandemploys to deliver the seed of a harder, sharper idea. Singer Molly Hamilton coats wryobservations in a voice as honeyed as the sun-ripened fruit, and Widowspeak havealways made a bitter pill much easier to swallow. From its opening strum, there’s apalpable warmth and familiarity to the music even as it hints at darker truths below thesurface, questions about inherent worth. What value and meaning do we assignourselves, our time, and how do we spend it?WithPlum, the songwriting partnership rooted in the creative rapport between MollyHamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas continues to expand on shared visions,delving deeper into what was always there: dusty guitars, ear-worm melodies, warmexpansive arrangements. Each entry to their catalog has marked a subtle reimagining ofWidowspeak’s sound, though perennial points of reference remain the same: 90’sdream pop, 60’s psych rock, a certain unshakeable Pacific-Northwestness. Speaking tothe timeless feeling of each, the albums continue to be discovered well beyond theirrespective PR cycles, made beloved by new listeners through word of mouth.More akin to the sunny spaciousness ofAll Yours(2015) than the darker, denserExpect the Best(2017),Plumcarries a sense of unhurried self-awareness. It feelscomfortable and lived-in: humble in structure, heavy on mood. Perhaps that cametaking time off from the touring grind, instead working full-time jobs and settling into therhythm of daily life in a small upstate New York town.Plumwas recorded over ahandful of weekends last winter by Sam Evian (Cass McCombs, Kazu Makino, HannahCohen) at his Flying Cloud studio in the Catskills, and was mixed by Ali Chant (PJHarvey, Aldous Harding, Perfume Genius). In addition to Hamilton (vocals, guitar) andThomas (guitars, bass, synth), it features instrumental contributions by Andy Weaver(drums), Michael Hess (piano), and Sam himself (bass, synth).Plumnestles into theband’s canon like it was always there, but with new textures coming to the fore, like thepolyrhythmic pulse of “Amy” and “The Good Ones”, or the watery, Terry Riley-influencedtrack “Jeanie”The broader themes that run throughPlumare almost eerily prescient for the time of itsrelease, written and recorded in the eve of a global pandemic. Hamilton couldn’t havepredicted the relevancy of mesmerizing track “Breadwinner”, with its central analogy ofbread as time as money, or the song’s yearning pleas to a partner who’s “alwaysbringing their work home”. And on “Even True Love”, Hamilton acknowledges theimminent loss of those closest to us: “In the deepest wells, in the shallow sick/I can seeyou shaking in the great unknown/Will you learn to live with what you chose?/Even truelove, you can’t take it with you”. They’re songs for our time to be sure, butPlumreckons with existential pain that was always there, that will endure well beyond socialdistancing and into our collective new reality.Still,Plumisn’t weighed down by crushing angst. The approach is humble and frank,
    like a friend sharing intimacies. These are songs made to be listened to, enjoyed.“Money” is particularly hypnotic, built around a repeating, cyclical motif that serves asboth skeleton and body. “Will you get back what you put in?” Hamilton asks over aninsistent guitar riff. The line is delivered with a knowingness that transcends its surfacecritiques of late-stage capitalism, asking both herself and the listener whether this is, infact, the world we want to live in. A world that increasingly sees monetization as thegreatest goal, even at such great expense to ourselves, and especially our future. Whatdoes it mean to contribute? And what is the cost of “selling out”?Hamilton cites a crisis of meaning as being central to the origins ofPlum. “I didn’t wantto write for a long time; I didn’t even really want to listen. I stopped believing in ‘music asa career’ and the distorted idea of what it had become in my mind: building andprojecting a personality, promoting it, selling it. Losing that sense of purpose… it mademe question my own value, usefulness.” She looked methodically for ways to reframethose thoughts about overconsumption, and found inspiration in the writings of MFKFisher, in the Danish film “Babette’s Feast” and David Byrne’s “True Stories”, and inYouTube playlists of pop songs remixed to sound like they’re being played inabandoned malls. She also found a book about wabi-sabi principles by Leonard Koren(who founded WET magazine): “So much of it is centered around allowing things to bewhat they are, and just noticing. I tried to notice more, and I think those observationsbecame the songs.”Plumis an album that navigates the spaces between the lesser emotions of modernlife. From the creeping dread that “things are getting worse” to the resigned butsanguine recognition that “no one is old, nothing is young,” Hamilton’s lyrics speak tothe unique turmoil of anyone who creates as their work, who must somehow survive offsuch “fruits of their labor.” With its release, Widowspeak have brought something intothe world that seems to know its own worth, even as it wonders aloud about what is tocome. Like the wabi-sabi tenant that lead to the song that became the album, all thingsare devolving to, or evolving from, nothingness.“You’re a peach and I’m a plum.

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. Plum
  2. The Good Ones
  3. Money
  4. Breadwinner
  5. Even True Love
  6. Amy
  7. Sure Thing
  8. Jeanie

9.  Y2K

Format

Dinked Edition #56