EP Review – Honeychurch by WIDOWSPEAK (2021) (Captured Tracks)

Widowspeak

After the absolute brilliance and justifiable widespread critical acclaim of their Plum album (released in August 2020), it was a great surprise when Widowspeak used the back end of such an awful year, to announce that they would be releasing this ‘follow up of sorts’ EP (my words not theirs) in early 2021.
Essentially, these are tracks that did not make quite make the cut for the Plum album but imbue the same sort of thematic and musical resonance. In other words, although the release biography would never be so egotistical to proclaim, this EP is every bit as beautiful and perhaps, to a certain extent, even ‘more’ interesting.
Opening double salvo Money (Hymn) (a different and in my humble, but ultimately correct as always opinion (it’s my blog after all!) better version of the single on Plum) and Sanguine show the sheer majesty of the Widowspeak aesthetic.
The hushed, introspective and ultimately vampish vocals of Molly Hamiltion manage to juxtapose the vulnerability of Hope Sandoval with the ‘go on just try it’ feminine strength of Cat Power and are the perfect vehicle for the dreamy, lo-fi arrangements and subtle jangling guitar beauty of the equally brilliant Robert Earl Thomas. Holistically this act have just always seemed to fit and the feeling is never more apparent than on this EP.
The best of the remainder of the release is devoted to covers, with R.E.M’s The One I Love and Dire Straits Romeo and Juliet being faithful enough to the originals to instantly recognize them, but disparate enough to immediately stamp all that is stunning, emotional and Widowspeak, through their very core.
People (old(er) people) tend to denigrate the present digital music dominance. However, Hamilton and Thomas plainly felt these tracks were simply too good not to release to the world and ‘digital’ provides the perfect agency for us to hear what may well have have otherwise been lost brilliance.
Released today (22.01.21) grab a digital copy here.

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