Fresh off the release of their critically-acclaimed fifth album Plum, Widowspeak welcome the new year with Honeychurch, a brand new EP. Like the 17th-century tile on its cover, Honeychurch is a repurposed artifact. Its title, a nod to E.M. Forster's A Room With A View, was originally a working title for Plum - it felt in line with the album’s thematic considerations of class, relationships, and generational ties, but was ultimately set aside. Still, these considerations swirled beneath the surface, and as Plum’s reflections on work and worth grew more pertinent by the day, singer Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas felt there was more to explore.
They began with what was already there, toying around with a new take on Plum single “Money”. The resulting track is a pared-down, introspective version, with a foreboding synth tone that asks us to spend more time with its prompt: “will you get back what you put in?” Hamilton and Thomas have also added to their repertoire of expertly crafted cover songs, recording a playful, Nancy Sinatra-esque take on R.E.M. 's “The One I Love” and a rich, expansive version of Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet”. Revisiting a discarded Plum demo about blood ties gave rise to the slow-burning “Sanguine”, while EP closer “Honeychurch” is an ambient epilogue that leaves space for deeper reflection.
Recorded at their apartment in Brooklyn and mixed and mastered by Jamie Harley (The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mogwai), Widowspeak’s new collection delivers homespun intimations with polished precision. The questions posed on Plum still reverberate, and Honeychurch leaves space for us to hear them better.
released January 22, 2021
Molly Hamilton: vocals, guitar on “Sanguine”
Robert Earl Thomas: guitars, bass, percussion, etc.
“Money (Hymn)”, “Sanguine” and “Honeychurch” written by Widowspeak
“The One I Love” written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
“Romeo and Juliet” written by Mark Knopfler
All songs recorded at home 2019-2020 by Robert Earl Thomas.
Mixed and Mastered by Jamie Harley.
supported by 41 fans who also own “Honeychurch EP”
I prefer the more intimate tunes like the opening track, but the entire album is stellar. I also enjoy the weird chord progressions in tunes like "Time Escaping" that don't seem to work at first, but it all falls into place nicely. The album builds over time and gets louder and spacey. Should make for a great live show. Bart