The Swamps is the most assured release yet from Brooklyn-based Spaghetti Western dream-poppers Widowspeak. Though it's only six tracks, The Swamps enters into focus with unhurried grace, moseying into the high-noon melodrama of "Calico" after a couple of atmospheric tracks. Though you could still find comparisons to bands like Mazzy Star and Beach House, those comparisons could no longer be considered high-water marks to reach, as Widowspeak truly comes into its own here. Singer Molly Hamilton most closely resembles the late Trish Keenan of Broadcast in her vocal timbre, which has grown even more captivating than on the stunning Almanac LP released last year—"Baby, can we play dead?" she sings, opening the playful "Brass Bed." Bandmate Robert Earl Thomas creates a dusty backdrop of reverbed ukelele, jangly acoustics and steel guitar, and saloon-style piano, though somehow he eschews laying it on too thick—it comes off as tasteful and natural, rather than as country costuming. Widospeak has a certain subtlety that's tough to come by, tugging at your curiosity with choice details ("tangled sheets, tangled hair," Hamilton sings on the seductive "True Believer," like an erotic ghost) without being too dry or boring. For fans of Widowspeak, The Swamps is more than just a holdover for their next LP, while The EP format proves a welcome entry point for newcomers to Widowspeak. The Swamps ends leaving you feeling like you've just met some intriguing stranger, begging to know more.