True Widow
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True Widow

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"Aquarius Records review"

Records like this come along so rarely. The sort of record that immediately reveals itself as something so more then just another disc to add to your collection, or the sort of record you play once or twice and then file. The second we heard this, we knew we had to hear more, and hear it over and over and over again. We discovered these guys online, heard a few songs and immediately bought a copy, and then set out to order them for the store (one of us was so obsessed, he even ordered all the records by the True Widow mainman's OLD band).
Not sure what it is exactly about True Widow, it could be that after hundreds of records of rumbling dronemusic and blasting grim buzz and hushed ambient shimmer, that a band that writes songs, incredibly catchy and melodic and heavy songs, is exactly what our ears craved. Not to take anything away from the band, even if we were immersed in straight up pop and heavy rock (which we sort of are also), these guys (and gal) would most definitely shine. This is the sort of music we rarely hear anymore. We originally expected this to be metal, maybe some sort of heavy post rock metal hybrid, and while it is heavy, it's way more indie rock, or maybe slowcore, more like some haunting mix of the two, the guitars are thick and distorted, but not metallic, and they drift into slow drifting creeps as easily as they do pounding majestic roars. Other reviewers have described True Widow as 'sonic noir' and 'stonegaze', both of which are fairly appropriate, it's definitely dark and moody, certainly shoegazey, and a little bit stonery, but it's really just some sort of perfect gloomy heavy postrock. We hear Codeine, Low, Seam, the vibe is laid back and disaffected, weary and washed out, but still somehow completely rocking.
Every song here is practically perfect, and each one segues seamlessly into the next, the sort of record where you don't just remember the melody or the lyrics, but which songs comes next, and how long the pause between songs is, the sound just so hypnotic and mesmerizing, a sort of lyseric doom pop, a druggy post rock, but the thing is, none of that really explains how addictive these songs seem to be. Literally, from the moment we first heard this record, we have not been able to stop listening to it. We've found other reviewers elsewhere who had the same reaction. Which speaks to the power of the songs, so well crafted, brooding, yet incredibly catchy. Just check out opener "Aka", with its strange mesmerizing main riff, the mysterious pause, and then when the band kicks in, it give you chills, and it's 40 seconds into the record.
The second track, "Duelist", is one of the few tracks that features vocals from bassist Nicole Estill, her warm purr draped over big drums and a simple minimal bass throb, before the band launches into a slow burning minor key lope, only to crank up that opening part, infusing it with just a bit more muscle, and peppering the proceedings with a cool woozy chorus. Then there's "Sunday Driver", a gorgeous hazy reverby almost ballad, skeletal guitars, the drums still solid and loud, the vocals laid back and drugged out, the main melody so catchy, and a chorus that kills. Just writing this now, we've skipped back to the beginning of that song 3 times!
This isn't really new, it came out last year, but we only just discovered it, and it had such an impact on us, we figured it was worth sharing with the rest of you. Cuz even if only a fraction of you have the same sort of response to True Widow that we did, it was well worth it. This has immediately leapt to the top of our year end best of list, even though it didn't come out this year, and hell, for some of us, True Widow immediately made it onto our best EVER list. And yeah we know, we traffic in hyperbole a lot around here, we can't help it cuz we love music so much and are excited to turn people on to the music we love, but there's no denying the empirical evidence, we can't seem to listen to anything else but this record. And that doesn't look like it will be changing anytime soon.
Just listen to the sound samples, the first two tracks alone should do the trick. So goddamn good. - http://www.aquariusrecords.org/cat/t25.html


"Noise Pop 09 Showcase Review"

"True Widow, who took the 9pm spot, exercise the less is more theory, and to great affect. This Dallas trio served the decidedly psych San Francisco crowd a mix of shoegaze and post rock with beautifully mellow vocals and menacing undertones, displaying a knack for delivering the rock goods while keeping the pace slow and steady with dynamics loud then soft—pretty downer music that manages to go interesting places even when it’s drenched in monotonous sludge. No gimmicks, just awesome music." - http://crawdaddy.wolfgangsvault.com/Article.aspx?id=7303


"Best Albums In Dallas Music, 2008"

"In a musical year that has been heavy on well-crafted dreamscapes (Fight Bite, School of Seven Bells, M83, etc.) in the pop realm, True Widow created an near-nightmarescape (but not quite that frightening) for those with heavier, shoegazier tastes."..."Hauntingly beautiful and brutal, but never unmelodic, the Matt Pence-produced True Widow is a debut of rare sonic depth and magnitude." - http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2008/12/the_best_albums_in_dallas_musi_1.php


"Alernative Press review"

"...like a grizzly bear, whose lumbering, somnambulant gait shimmers like road haze, gnawing the meat off mesmerizing grooves." - http://www.altpress.com/reviews/1627.htm


"Bob Morgan review"

"True Widow accomplishes several milestones on their debut self-titled album which some bands take several albums or never achieve over the course of their lifetime: 1) Not one song sounds out of place on the record; 2) The band knows when to use volume and when to quiet things down and how to use such loud soft dynamics in their songwriting without being obvious about it; and 3) True Widow crafts a record so subtle in its arrangement and melodies that listeners do not immediately realize just how catchy it is."...'Sunday Driver' is a gem; a slow and steady track that is just catchy as hell with the disaffected vocals adding to the mood very much making the music such a downer while still staying pretty sounding, and equally impressive are the dynamic shifts in the song play out like waves crashing on a seashore as the rolling rhythm section continually propels the track along like a car driving on some dark highway late at night or early in the morning. 'All You Need' is a delicate, melodic tour de force with nice harmonized vocals, neatly plucked guitars, and the rolling rhythm section that makes True Widow; the vocals come across as if they are pleading for some stay of execution. For a debut, this self-titled album from True Widow is impressive." - http://www.scenepointblank.com/reviews/2227


"show review by: Zac Crain"

True Widow is one of those bands that needs to be experienced live to be truly appreciated. I mean, that’s probably true for most groups, but there’s something about the three-piece’s hazy, rumbling echo that is better served in a setting where the sound can bounce off the walls and build on itself. (I had my phone set on “vibrate” and it felt like it was ringing through the entire set.) - http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2009/02/03/fb-field-trip-true-widow-at-the-lounge-on-elm-st/


"Wonka Vision review"

"...with its dense blur of guitars which swirl and roar, grumble and moan, and a plodding pace that stumbles in a Quaalude haze through pea-soup atmospheres wrapped in such melancholy one’s tempted to throw Prozac at them."..." “Corpse Master,” meanwhile, appears to be dragging around the body of a mammoth, or at least the weighty remains of classic rock. Even Vanilla Fudge, the heaviest of the heyday rockers never reached this kind of tonnage." - http://www.wonkavisionmagazine.com/reviews/?p=1003


"Matthew Ralph review"

..."Long a fan of the genre, I’ve listened to plenty of bands like this that weren’t worth my time to know that True Widow offer something more than a mundane repackaging of the all-our-songs-sound-the-same motif."..."I’m reminded of the droning guitar-heavy indie-rock I listened to as a teenager to escape mindless overly optimistic pop music. This isn’t to say, even though bands like My Bloody Valentine, Starflyer 59, Ester Drang and Sonic Youth are at times brought to my mind, that the music is dated or irrelevant."... - http://tangzine.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/review-true-widow/


"Opinion Hated best of 08"

"True Widow’s self-titled album comes through with such a growl and slowgrinding shoegazing sound that it should be listed as a narcotic. It’s hypnotizing psychedelic groovy envelopes you to the point that you’re not quite sure if you’ve taken some type of illegal pill before you clicked play. As swaying as it is lo-fi artistic, the album is seriously an all around contender for one of the best albums released this year." - http://opinionhated.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/the-best-of-2008its-all-here/


Discography

self titled debut released 11/11/08. features the singles 'Duelist" & "Sunday Driver". "Bleeder", "K.R" and"Flat Black" have also had some play, streaming and radio.

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Bio

Up from the warm, almost oppressively humid Texas air rises a din. The sound is created by only three people. For now, we’ll just call them D.H., Nikki and Slim. The music that they are creating might be the aural equivalent of walking down a farm-to-market road on a foggy morning just before day breaks.

The clamor began in November 2007 when these three humans came together to form True Widow. As is to be expected, they set about committing this alchemy to tape and from this arose their self-titled debut in November 2008. True Widow was recorded by the more-than-capable hands of Matt Pence at his Echo Lab studio. But then came time to spread the good word. So they headed out West and then out East, bringing their simultaneously breathless and heavy live set with them.

Of course, they don’t expect you to just take their word on all of this. Fader Magazine said: “True Widow, who grabbed those lackadaisical grunge breakdowns we didn’t even realize we missed, and drew them out in an epic swell of apathy and stoned whateverness". And back to that live show. Crawdaddy said of the band’s 2009 set at the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco: “a mix of shoegaze and post rock with beautifully mellow vocals and menacing undertones, displaying a knack for delivering the rock goods while keeping the pace slow and steady with dynamics loud then soft—pretty downer music that manages to go interesting places even when it’s drenched in monotonous sludge. No gimmicks, just awesome music."”

So now they look out over the horizon. The demos for their forthcoming follow-up show an outfit that have, according to the band, “found ourselves within the band and are in great places with each other, musically and personally.” A full roster of shows across the country proves that True Widow are building up a head of steam and that word is spreading quickly about this most unique of acts. They are at times heavier than francium, and at other times whisper-soft, like a hazy lullaby from a distant future.

Penned by: Amanda Mann