Like many other Widowspeak songs, ‘Dead Love (So Still)’ has an unassuming beginning. The latest track from upcoming third record ‘All Yours’ creeps in with a clean-cut acoustic riff from Robert Earl Thomas and Molly Hamilton’s demure vocals. But after the first verse, something weird happens and Thomas’ guitar squeals out a fidgety, psychedelic twang. Hamilton spends a few lines dazedly asking “If I’d stayed/ Would it be better?” and then, when the chorus rolls in, they strip the whole thing back to just drums and more trippy guitar from Thomas.
It’s a trick the Brooklyn duo have been pulling since their self-titled 2011 debut: dressing up dark and twisted psych-folk as cuddly, acoustic dreampop. Scratch the surface and ‘Dead Love (So Still)’ is far from warm and pastoral – it’s chilling. Hamilton repeatedly asks “Are you just sleeping?” in a prickly account of a dead relationship. In the background, Thomas freaks out on his guitar, strangling out disorientating noise of the kind Widowspeak are rarely given credit for. This is a morbid love story and, like many other Widowspeak songs, there’s far more to it than you might think.