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Widowspeak: Almanac

Captured Tracks

Almanac follows up on the Brooklyn band Widowspeak's self-titled 2011 debut with new exercises in nostalgia. Like its predecessor, the album channels different eras and places, traveling the porches of Appalachia, the surf-guitar drenched beaches of Southern California, and the Seattle grunge scene. Producer Kevin McMahon (Swans, Real Estate) recorded the album in a century-old barn in New York, and the resulting buzzing of crickets adds to the mellow, crackling presentation of guitar, organ, harmonium, and piano. Singer Molly Hamilton offers up simple, folksy lyrics in her same sweet and drowsy voice, adding literal weight to the phrase "shoegaze." If Cat Power and Mazzy Star are your style, you'll enjoy Almanac, so long as you aren't invested in modern edge. (2 out of 5 stars)