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Jason Isbell, Widowspeak 

When: Wed., July 3 2013
Price: $16
WIDOWSPEAK Widowspeak says they set out to be a “creepy, Disney-soundtrack folk group.” Certainly a creep factor clings to the duo’s narcotic pop-Americana, due to Molly Hamilton’s halting, collapsing croon and Robert Earl Thomas’ echoey surf guitar slinging straight out of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Widowspeak’s self-titled 2011 debut LP offered haunting, oddly comforting nostalgia for a past that never was, and with constant comparisons to Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, Hamilton was set to be the poster girl for a ’90s sad-rock revival. Wisely, Widowspeak veered away from the languidly spooky path they charted, brightening and broadening their sound on their 2013 LP, Almanac. Hamilton’s ethereal fatalism remains, as does Thomas’ twangy Ennio Morricone fixation, but the additions of gauzy Stevie Nicks glamor and Neil Young and Crazy Horse rumble make Widowspeak sound both more traditional and infinitely stranger. Claiming their new expansive sound is like finding covered furniture in an old, dark house and “taking all the sheets off.” The band — whose single, “Harsh Realm,” graced an episode of American Horror Story — has at last thrown open the shutters to see the sun burn through the haze.
— Pat Moran

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