KSDB REVIEW: Widowspeak’s “Expect the Best” is an evocative indie rock album

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Widowspeak, an indie rock band from the Brooklyn borough of New York City, released their fifth studio album, “Expect the Best,” on Aug. 25. This is the band’s first release since their 2015 album, “All Yours.”

With the potentially added stress to produce another successful album, I can recognize a change of style in this album. This works for Widowspeak as a way of not being pigeonholed to reproduce the same sound for the sake of success.

“Expect the Best” is the perfect melancholic autumn album to ground my angsty self. They have created a massive and warm sound with the use of multiple guitars and well-orchestrated drums that take you deep into their songs.

Widowspeak has the perfect secret weapon: lead singer Molly Hamilton. She gives off a wonderful, less-overrated version of Lana Del Rey’s vocals that are very relaxed and sensual.

The theme of the album is introduced in the second song, “When I Tried.” It starts with an ’80s-sounding guitar riff that sits on top of the song very well, just like Hamilton’s voice.

Then that massive sound with the multiple guitars and prominent drums takes over in between the catchy counter sounding riff. It regresses back to the other theme that is carried through this album, which is melancholy. That is put front and center in the lyrics of this song, and is expressed so well through Hamilton’s singing:

“Tried to do some work today / Tried to go out and play / Got the feeling to talk / Then I had nothing to say.”

The album then goes into my second favorite song, “Dog.” This song starts strong with a distinct guitar opening, but somehow takes this deep sound and makes it slightly optimistic when the chorus hits and Hamilton sings, “I wanna stay, I wanna stay.”

It breaks up the very mundane sound of the song, and without Hamilton they would not be able to successfully have that sound without it bleeding into the background. It makes you really look forward to the chorus and keeps you involved.

The album then transitions into the middle men of the album, “Warmer” and “Good Sport,” which both go along with sounds of the album perfectly but don’t stand alone.

Things are picked back up with the songs “Let Me” and “Right On,” which I personally think both deserve more love. Widowspeak’s inner “indie grunge” is peeping out with these nostalgic-sounding songs.

Widowspeak pulls off a sound that could have easily gone wrong in a very successful way. It is a heavy sounding middle of the album that is still “chill” due to their deep roots in indie music.

There is one last kick on the album with the songs “Fly on the Wall” and the album’s titular track, “Expect the Best.”

If you still do not fully understand what I have been trying to explain with the deeper sound and the moody harmonizing singing from Hamilton, look up “Expect the Best.” It is the perfect song to identify this album, hence why they named the album after this song.

Widowspeak has added a new genre to their identity, and that is a true indie rock sound which they have successfully taken on in their latest album, “Expect the Best.”

Sara Wallace is a sophomore in mass communications writing on behalf of KSDB, Kansas State’s student-run radio station. The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian or KSDB. Please send comments to [email protected] and visit ksdbfm.org for more reviews.

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