Young Widows - In and Out of Youth and Lightness
Record Label: Temporary Residence
Release Date: April 12, 2011
I remember the first time I saw/heard Young Widows. They were opening up for a stacked bill featuring Pelican, Daughters and Russian Circles. It wasn't the band's sound that was as captivating as the band's set up. Three huge stacks on either side of the stage with a stereo of timbre and light surrounding you. I remember thinking one thing, "These guys are pretty loud." That was it, just one "meh" reaction. With the release of 2008's Old Wounds, the band moved their sound into a territory of minimalism and direct approach that worked powerfully, and seeing them that year opening for the late-These Arms Are Snakes, growth was fruitful and evident.
With this year's follow-up to the punch of Old Wounds, the band has crafted something that doesn't just move forward, it moves outwardly and abundantly with its sound. In and Out of Youth and Lightness layers the most detail that Young Widows has sewn together yet. It's no more apparent than on the entrancing mural of "In and Out of Lightness," where Evan Patterson's guitar is constantly making the strokes of said brush do nothing but resonate alongside Nick Thieneman bass lines. When the track's frequencies begin to flutter, the vocal play to flush it out works almost perfectly.
Most evident is the band as a whole now sound more determined than ever in their playing. There's a fear heard throughout Old Wounds at times, but with this album there's a new found bolder confidence in the members' execution of their talents. Take the direct drive of "Miss Tambourine Wrist" and wide rhythm section of Thieneman and drummer Jeremy McMonigle on "Lean on the Ghost." With the opening "Young Rivers," you can watch the colors in the album bleed atop one another. Patterson's voice sounds accepting of impending doom, but rides against the song's haunting aura, creating an uneasy narrative feeling that's felt throughout the album's journey. That's what Young Widows does best this time around. They left the mono feeling of the past to a full sounding stereo experience. It's the feeling you get from perfect soundtracks and orchestral bliss.
In and Out of Youth and Lightness is not going to be an album for the impatient. A few listens are needed to soak in every layer this album has to offer. Just relax, lean back and soak yourself in a bath of blending colors and timbre. As you let your senses take in the last of the aftershock and flanging downbeat of "In and Out of Youth," just listen to Patterson comfort the experience as he repeats, "These wild dreams are done."