When a band name like Sour Widows meets the eye, it can’t do anything but pique the interest.
Coupled with the band recently signing to the very much underrated Exploding In Sound label, from a listener’s perspective at least, it’s one of those instances where you feel as if you’re onto a winner without even hearing a note.
Sour Widows are Maia Sinaiko (guitar/vocals), Susanna Thomson (guitar/vocals) and Max Edelman (drums). Forming in 2017, the Bay area trio landed on the radar last year with their self-titled debut EP.
Their follow-up, Crossing Over, continues Sour Widows‘ trajectory, with sunlight flickering through the cracks, as subtle arrangements and the slight shifting of tone makes this their finest set of songs yet.
Look the Other Way oozes with warm tones that compliment a lazy Sunday morning. Sinaiko and Thomson‘s crossover harmonies and guitars are usually something we would associate with a weary folk duo in the pub on a Friday night. Instead, the slowcore atmospherics Sour Widows conjure up reaches for the likes of ’90s touchstones, Codeine and Ida.
The title track follows and is a clear standout. “Rain fills the drive and the radiator crying/I feel this light splitting in me/Over and over,” sings Sinaiko and Thomson, their harmonies enveloped in a haunting vulnerability. It almost feels like words are extracted from a notebook and alongside abstract rhythms that echo their label mates, Pile, it’s a gorgeous country-tinged number.
While Crossing Over is the EP’s highest point, Bathroom Stall is the saddest. A song about relationships, addiction and death, Bathroom Stall oozes with a raw sorrow exclusive to the bereaved.
Following on from the sadness of Bathroom Stall is Walk All Day – an acoustic lament that ends Crossing Over in a modest, almost defeated fashion. And it’s the right way to end things in what is a cathartic, somewhat damaged lonely orbit.
In a year that has been slow for new albums in comparison with years gone by, this can’t be said for EPs, where a slew of fine releases in the first quarter of 2021 have greeted us.
We can add Sour Widows‘ Crossing Over to the list in what is one of the best so far.
Crossing Over is out now via Exploding In Sound. Purchase from Bandcamp.