Brooklyn band Widowspeak talks about touring through Southern swamps


David Sackllah

Widowspeak, the great dreamy, hazy, indie rock group from Brooklyn, N.Y., just released Almanac earlier this year and have another EP titled The Swamps due out on Captured Tracks by the end of the month. The Daily Texan spoke with band members Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas about writing songs and touring through the South.


The Daily Texan: Are you used to playing big festivals like ACL?

Molly Hamilton: We’ve done a couple of them but mostly we play a small stage at the beginning of the day, which honestly is really cool because you are a part of this festival where are a lot of people are there because of bigger acts and then they get to accidentally discover you, which is a really cool experience.

Robert Earl Thomas: We had a bunch of people come up to us today and say, “I didn’t know who you were, but now I’m a fan,” and that’s awesome. We couldn’t ask for anything better, and then I get to see other bands I want to see. Being a band at a festival is the coolest.

MH: Exactly, it’s like being the opening band on the sickest bill ever. It’s 100 bands long. 


DT: You have a new EP coming out at the end of the month called The Swamps. Were these songs recorded after Almanac?

RET: We were sick of touring, but we really didn’t want to work either, so we worked out this thing where just the two of us opened for Jason Isbell.

MH: It’s always cool to be exposed to new people. We started writing songs about being stagnant and cooped up. The swamps are a still and creepy place, and that permeated throughout all we were writing about.

RET: We have the lyric in the song “The Swamps” that goes “Read the listings in Southern towns.” I would drive through town and get on Craigslist and find a house for $500 and say, “Why don’t we live there!” 


DT: You get compared a lot to other bands. Is that something that you think is cool or do you get tired of it after a while?

MH: I don’t necessarily get tired of the comparison because for a lot of people, it’s like they love that band so if they see something that they’ve always loved in our music. The one thing I don’t like is when people assume it’s our influence. A lot of people say “Oh, Molly’s obviously influenced by Hope Sandoval’s singing,” and I think it’s more that I coincidentally sing similarly to her, and I think we come from a similar place in terms of our stylistic leanings.