Widowspeak’s All Yours is just what we need to cool off during this hot, hot summer. The duo’s tunes are cool and meditative, evoking the feeling of watching a fading sunset over the forested hills of New York’s Hudson Valley, where the band resides. Molly Hamilton’s sweet vocals whisper over Robert Early Thomas’ dusky licks and a touch of organ on the sultry title track. The band mostly keeps things spare and dreamy, but they plug in to give tracks like “Dead Love (So Still)” a little raunch, coming off like the Velvet Underground’s third album reimagined as stoner country music. Elsewhere, Hamilton plays Nancy Sinatra to Thomas’ Lee Hazlewood on the sumptuous “Girls,” generating plenty of heat from a spacious, two-chord jam and Hamilton’s narcotic drawl, while “Borrowed World” sees Thomas take the mic for a spry duet (something the band should consider doing more often). Somehow, All Yours is both Widowspeak’s mellowest album and its most exciting. With a sharp focus on songwriting over ambiance and more room for Hamilton’s vocals to shine, they end up with their best, most distinctive album yet.
Summer isn't over yet, and there are tons of great releases coming in the next few weeks. Check out our list of 20 upcoming albums, including new records from Lana Del Rey, David Gilmour, FIDLAR and more.
Beach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while retaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals.
Red Bull Sound Select’s February show, curated by Amoeba Music, went off like a firecracker doused in whiskey Thursday night, with kids lining up along Glendale Blvd. all the way to Echo Park Lake for the chance to see FIDLAR and others at The Echoplex for three bucks.
Isaac Rother & The Phantoms opened the show with a set of songs inspired by classic rock ‘n’ roll, early blues and “Monster Mash”-style novelty songs of the ’50s and ’60s. Rother’s sneering, shivering delivery helped sell campy lyrics about phantoms and such, with Rother sporting a shock of afroed hair and a black robe that made him look like a cult leader. Now a Los Angeles resident after moving from Olympia, Wash., Rother’s new backup band impressed as well, offering heavy, thumping blues rock accompaniment and powerful female backup vocals from on songs like standout “My Cryin’ Eyes.”
Cherry Glazerr came next, playing fizzy female-fronted alt-rock jams like “Haxel Princess,” a single from their excellent, recently released album of the same name. They followed with the minor-key “Trick or Treat Dancefloor,” and the crowd showed they were just as comfortable swaying to Cherry Glazerr’s dreamier numbers as they were moshing to songs like frothy rocker “Whites Not My Color This Evening.” Credit to Cherry Glazerr for not just speeding everything up given the size of the show, staying true to themselves and displaying impressive, Pixies-ish dynamics. They ended with “Bloody Bandaid,” a stream-of-consciousness-style dream-popper that another band might fumble but that Cherry Glazerr, young as they are, spin into youthful gold.
FIDLAR headline the Red Bull Sound Select show at the Echoplex Feb. 27, curated by Amoeba. The L.A. garage-punk band had a hell of a 2013, releasing their acclaimed, self-titled debut record and touring around the world, including with a little band known as The Pixies. They even made the time to stop by two Amoeba stores and playing blistering sets at Amoeba Hollywood and S.F.
We caught up with the band before their big performance.
|Cherry Glazerr; Clementine Creevy, center (Photo by Rhyan Santos)|
Playing the Red Bull Sound Select show curated by Amoeba Feb. 27 at The Echoplex will be Cherry Glazerr. The L.A. band, named after KCRW correspondent Chery Glaser, recently released its debut album, Haxel Princess, a fizzy, dreamy ode to young ladyhood typified by songs like "Teenage Girl."
The band plays with FIDLAR, the newly announced Cheatahs and Isaac Rother & The Phantoms at the show. It's $3 with RSVP and $12 without. Doors are at 8 p.m. Check back here tomorrow for an interview with FIDLAR!