Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 16th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Widowspeak’s Golden Hour

muaic widowspeakDream pop duo pays homage to the ’70s with pastoral imagery and matching jackets

On TLC’s ’90s anthem “Waterfalls” the fearless lady trio preaches, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.”

But when it came to Widowspeak’s sophomore LP, Almanac, release in January, the Brooklyn, N.Y. dream pop duo made the bold decision to ignore that advice.

The band chose to feature a photograph of a waterfall on the cover, not solely for its beauty, but because it provides thematic and geographical context to the album, which was recorded in a 100-year-old barn in the Hudson River Valley in New York State.

“That waterfall flows from Lake Minnewaska,” explains guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Robert Earl Thomas. “It’s called the Awosting Falls, and it’s 15 minutes from where we recorded the record.”

Thomas continues, “Molly and I actually visited the state park when we visited the studio, like two months before we made the record. We knew we wanted to do some sort of outdoor, pastoral, us-in-nature kind of setting for the cover—inspired by a lot of ’70s folk records—and then we came across the waterfall.”

He recalls his first impressions of Awosting: “When we originally saw it, it was just a little trickle … and when we came back to shoot the cover, it was totally full because it had rained so much the week before, so it had worked out perfectly. I guess we wanted to aesthetically reference the things we were talking about, [plus] the record is about the whole experience of making it and being there—that’s a huge part of the record—so to have the artwork correspond geographically to where we made the record was important.”

Regardless of where Widowspeak fans live, they’ll feel connected to Minnewaska State Park after listening to Almanac, which is brimming with first-hand field recordings—sounds of dogs, coyotes, crickets, rain and footsteps, etc.—built in throughout the well-organized 12 tracks.

“That’s authentic,” reveals vocalist/guitarist Molly Hamilton. “A lot of that was just stuff we were recording on our phones … we just kind of chose moments on the record where we thought [the recordings] fit the narrative and the story arc.”

Thomas adds, “When we made the record, we knew that ‘Perennials’ was going to be the opening track, we kind of knew that ‘Ballad of the Golden Hour’ was going to be like a centerpiece, and we knew that ‘Storm King’ would be [at] the end. I think the yelping and the coyotes just sort of thematically went with the ending; ‘Storm King’ is kind of about the end of the world, or the end of an era, or the end of something.”

Santa Cruzans will have the opportunity to hear all those tracks and more when the band hits The Crepe Place on April 1. Donning white satin jackets with their names embroidered on the front and “Widowspeak Tour 2013” on the back, the duo and their backing “Almanac Band”—Kyle Clairmont Jacques (drums), Willy Muse (bass) and Dylan Treleven (Wurlitzer/guitar)—will be hard to miss.

It’s a straightforward and sentimental fashion statement, according to Hamilton: “We were thinking about how this is our first big U.S. tour, and the way that it’s sandwiched, it’s right before a Europe tour. It just felt kind of like a big event, so we wanted to make commemorative jackets, just like ’70s rock bands had … even though it’s dramatic, it’s just kind of a really cool idea to have this gang roving the roads of America with matching jackets.”

“Yeah, but it also plays into the band too,” adds Thomas. “We had to do the record just the two of us [with co-producer Kevin McMahon], and now we’re finally able to settle into having the whole band play whole songs now … I think we’re all excited to play all these dates and come out a super tight live band [that] can read each other’s thoughts.” 


Widowspeak performs at 9 p.m. Monday, April 1 at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 429-6994.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.