Best of 2020: Widowspeak Was Looking for Different Perspectives This Year

The Brooklyn band talks Yves Jarvis and Gia Margaret.

My favorite thing to come out this year was the Yves Jarvis record Sundry Rock Song Stock. I’m a big fan of his and I was really anticipating that record, and it did not disappoint. I really love the sonic landscapes he creates. It’s just this beautiful world that envelops you. His use of all these stacked harmonies feel really casual and inviting, and it’s just a lovely texture. Overall, something I’m inspired by and aspire to is the way he has a loose conception of song structure — there’ll be a hook, and then it’ll fade away, and then it’ll fade into another part and you’ll forget about it, and then the hook will come back. You kind of don’t think you’re listening to songs as much as this one big sonic palette. That’s what keeps me coming back to it. 

— Robert Earl Thomas

Something me and Rob were talking about was the Gia Margaret record Mia Gargaret. For me this year, I was kind of being drawn to less lyrical music, something more ephemeral to help me have a different perspective, because I think sometimes you get inundated with narrative songs or self-expression from other people. I found it really comforting this year to listen to that record, because it’s ambient-ish. Sometimes I associate ambient music with a more academic approach, and a sense of distance, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I appreciate that this record is so warm and personable. It was kind of opening a door for me into non-lyrical song structures. From what I understand, the reason she made the record ambient was because she had her voice taken away being sick. I think that’s kind of reflective of a lot of things being taken away this year, and I think having to change your approach is something everyone is now dealing with, so that seems pretty thematic for 2020 — having to understand that you have to readjust your expectations for what you’re able to do as a musician or otherwise. 

— Molly Hamilton

Yves Jarvis’s Sundry Rock Song Stock and Gia Margaret’s Mia Gargaret are out now, as is Widowspeak’s Plum

As told to Annie Fell.

Widowspeak is singer-songwriter Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earle Thomas. Their fifth album, Plum, is out August 28, 2020 via Captured Tracks.