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True Widow: Circumambulation

I sometimes grow weary of the notion of hybrid musical styles; there are just so many bands out there claiming they deserve a listen because they blend this or that style really well. At some point all these appeals get old and don't always make much sense. With True Widow's third album, I can honestly say that my faith in hybrid is mostly renewed. For those who don't know True Widow, they are a trio of musicians that describe their style as "stonegaze," a mixture of stoner rock and shoegaze. This music is supposed to be cerebral, personal, and intuitive. To me, it's pretty great stuff.

The music is played at a slow, dream-like, tempo, always mellow and minimal. At times, I was reminded of the first album by Mazzy Star or even the Cowboy Junkies' cover of "Sweet Jane." This is mostly because the vocals regularly convey that same kind of dreamy, distant, effect. These comparisons aren't quite right, however. The music has a distorted crunch underlying things, giving it that extra near-metal edge. There's also a slightly different production style, one that captures a live sound rather than a smooth polish. The point here isn't technical proficiency—whether on the instruments or in the studio—so much as it is to experience a certain kind of sound, a sound that seduces one's ears.

My favorite tracks were those with singing by Nicole Estill, whether she was leading things or adding a level of harmony. She just has a smooth, dreamy, voice that I really enjoyed. The tracks where other band members sing are also strong, but I found myself missing her sweet and weary voice.

This album is currently getting lots of attention from various outlets, including NPR and Pitchfork. Some readers may worry that all this attention means that this band appeals only to hipsters or cultural snobs. Stop worrying. Some things are just good and deserve the attention.

Track Listing:
1. Creeper
2. S:H:S
3. Four Teeth
4. Numb Hand
5. Trollstigen
6. I:M:O
7. HW:R
8. Lungr

Added: July 30th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1626
Language: english

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