Widowspeak released their marvelous new record, The Jacket, in March and kicked off their tour with a pair of shows at Baby's All Right. The second night featured an opening set from Anna Fox Rachinski.
In 2010, I caught an awesome show at the now defunct DIY space Glasslands. The bill featured Quilt, Mac DeMarco, and a headlining set from Widowspeak. On Wednesday, I caught Mac opening for The Strokes at Barclays Center and on Thursday, Anna Fox Rochinski (lead singer of Quilt) opened for Widowspeak at Baby's All Right. It was a wonderful, blissed-out nostalgic trip that was equally reminiscent of Williamsburg's former self, but also a wonderful outlook on the future. Anna's opening set drew from last year's great Cherry and armed with a stellar backing band, the songs felt transcendent in a live setting. Vintage synths evoke Silver Apples sounds with a bit of funk and her lilting vocals over textured guitars give the songs a psychedelic spin. Live saxophone livened things up during the early set and really got the crowd to groove along with the moody elements.
"We've put out two records during this" said Molly Hamilton during one of her brief callouts to the crowd. "All of these are new, well almost all of them" she followed up. As the band sets off on their first proper tour in several years, they're sounding their absolute best. The Jacket, the group's sixth record, has followed the path of Plum and continues to elevate their sound, hearing the songs live only affirms their transition from a good band, to great one. On stage, the chemistry between Hamilton and lead guitarist Robert Earl Thomas is pure magic, their eyes often locked in a tight gaze as they strum away at their guitars to build billowing plumes of illustrious sound. Their confidence continues to sky rocket as well, watching Rob rip into solos and annunciate notes with charisma and passion all add to the nuance they've developed as part of their live show and only enhances their dream-pop wonder. Album opener "While You Wait" felt like a lucid dream, the haze of the guitars and mellotron producing a transformative atmosphere set to take you to the cosmos."Even True Love" and "Money" were great highlights from Plum and a stunning, enlightened version of "All Yours" felt even more celestial than usual, Hamilton's vocals an aural stardust shimming with beauty. For the die hards, the band played "Gun Shy" from their still fantastic debut and while that song remains an all time great, hearing it amongst their newest work displays their progression and evolution as songwriters with crystal-clear vision. "Plum" elicited great response from the crowd, conjuring up even more swelling guitar tones. "Everything Is Simple" saw the band let loose and gave Rob his biggest spotlight of the night as he tore into the knotted, dusty guitar solo that gives the song such gritty energy, the beautiful noise recalling the extreme glow of Yo La Tengo and other indie hallmarks. In that moment alone, it became clear that the band has fully come into their own sound, creating something that feels both instantly recognizable and also unique to them.