Posts Tagged 'Widowspeak'

End of the year best, round two: Songs

Well, here they are – a list of my favorite songs of the year.
(The order is based more on mood, not necessarily on preference.)

“Wavlngth” – Headless Horseman, “HDLSS” compilation
Wild, exuberant, and infectious, this song jumped out at me as I was researching the hundreds of unknown bands descending on the city for CMJ in October.

“Whale” – Yellow Ostrich, The Mistress
Listen to the slowly unfolding beat as layers upon layers are piled on top of each other to create an earnest, upbeat diddy that is far more complex than it appears.

“Let England Shake” – PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
A strong intro to a strong album. Harvey proves she’s still got it.

“Lose It” – Austra, Feel It Break
Operatic, buoyant, and so much better than Zola Jesus, this is the song that sold me at SXSW. The bit at the end by the Lightman twins (of Tasseomancy) seals the deal.

“Cheerleader” – St. Vincent, Strange Mercy
I know, I know. “Cruel” was the song with the awesome music video. But can I help it? I love the slowly mounting tension this song holds before it erupts into a pounding, staccato chorus.

Det haster! – Casiokids, Aabenbaringen over aaskammen
This song is just a blast. Easy as that. (Now if I could just understand the Norwegian…)

“Heart in Your Heartache” – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Belong
The album was a disappointment, but this song’s got everything that first made me fall in love with the band in 2009. A peppy, poppy masterpiece.

“I’ll Drown” – Sóley, We Sink
A veteran of fellow Icelandic artists Seabear, Múm, and Sin Fang, Sóley steps into the spotlight, herself, and the result is charming and magical, even though the lyrics depict heartache.

“Carve a Peach” – His Clancyness
Despite the artist’s cringe-worth name, I can’t get enough of this song – shimmering, laid back, and lovely.

“Bunhill Fields” – Amor de Días, Street of the Love of Days
Short and sweet, I could listen to this song on repeat for hours.

“Mona Lisa” – Atlas Sound, Parallax
Bradford Cox at his poppy, pitch-perfect best.

“Harsh Realm” – Widowspeak, s/t
Hazy, mesmerizing, and simple.

“Night After Night” – Laura Marling, A Creature I Don’t Know
This song consistently makes me cry. Beautiful, tragic, and haunting.

“Holocene” – Bon Iver, Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Another one for weeping – honest and breathtaking, a downer that somehow manages to simultaneously exude strength.


Rooftop Films, take two

“This is a sexy, desperate program,” Rooftop Films host Mark Elijah Rosenberg said by way of introducing the evening’s theme: The Pursuit of Love. While opening night had been a bit on the chilly side, last Friday’s event seemed to mark the season’s official foray into summer.

On the roof at the New Design High School (photo Irwin Seow)

But before the shorts began, Widowspeak took the stage for a short set. Having missed their recent performance at Glasslands, I was thankful for another opportunity to see the Brooklyn band play. I’ve been listening to their single (as of yet the only thing they’ve officially released) on repeat.

Sometimes, new bands you love recorded let you down. Widowspeak does not fall into this category. From their first song, I was hooked, but it took me a minute to figure out why the music seemed to resonate with me so deeply. Then it hit me. “Oh man! The singer from Widowspeak is totally adorable and sounds like Hope Sandoval!” I eagerly texted a friend. With her long flowing floral skirt, soothing voice, and seductive sideways glances, singer Molly Hamilton exuded just the right combination of innocence and sexiness. Consider me a fan.

Widowspeak (photo Nicholas Gazin)

Closing with Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” (tag line “I’ll never fall in love”) turned out to be the perfect segue to the shorts.


Each year’s romantic shorts program is one of my favorite Rooftop Films events. This year, the theme made it even more fun. From a town full of headless villagers to a bizarre underwater manifestation, the shorts revealed that love is just as twisted as it is rewarding.

"He considered music a liberating force: it liberated him from loneliness, introversion, the dust of the library; it opened the door of his body and allowed his soul to step out into the world to make friends."

- Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being