Almanac by Widowspeak (Album)

Windowspeak – Almanac album cover


Mazzy Star-like vocals decorate this release by New York shoegazers Widowspeak, who rise to the occasion for album number two

Windowspeak - Almanac album cover

s the first release of 2013 on indie label of the moment Captured Tracks, Brooklyn act Widowspeak look set to have a busy year ahead of them. Their second album Almanac kicks off with the terrific opener Perennials which you could use as a calling card for the band’s sound. Molly Hampton’s vocals owe an undeniably heavy debt to Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, albeit with maybe a touch more light than shade. Alongside, lead guitarist Robert Earl Thomas’ fluid and inventive guitar lines, it’s a compelling mix that will be sure to grab many a discerning ear.

Almanac is stuffed full of great tracks, one after the other – Dyed In The Wool, The Dark Age, Ballad of the Golden Age, Devil Knows, Locusts to name just five. In truth, maybe aside from the interlude title track, there’s not one weak track here, so it’s frustrating that as an album Almanac doesn’t quite work. The problem for many will be that over 40 minutes, Molly Hampton’s vocals are simply not strong enough to support the album’s own weight and towards the final tracks they really start to grate.

Given the album’s slightly incongruous artwork (which sees Hampton and Thomas sporting a puzzling Little House On The Prairie look), you can’t help but feel if they borrowed a few pages from The Civil Wars’ book and shared some of the vocals the end results would have produced a much more nourishing main course.

Verdict: No filler present

Alun Jones

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