January 13, 2022

Sennen - Widows (2005)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Shoegaze
Label Number: YUMCD4

© 2005 Hungry Audio
British shoegaze band Sennen formed in 2002 and took their time developing a sound that was equal parts daydreamy vocal harmonies and noisy, textural guitars. Before their proper debut album, Where the Light Gets In, arrived in 2008, Sennen offered up the seven-song mini-album Widows in 2005. As the band developed, their sound got progressively less abrasive and more embracing of the pop aspects of their noisy dream pop approach. Widows, however, captures Sennen in a darker, more brooding early phase, where protracted songs draw as much inspiration from shoegaze templates as they do atmospheric post-rock. While the tightly synchronized vocal harmonies on tracks like "Laid Out" and "One and the Same Thing" are borrowed directly from early Ride, and layers of distortion-doused guitars bloom and wither in every song, the paisley-patterned optimism that accompanied much of the early shoegaze cannon's output is replaced by a heavy, cinematic tension. Five of the seven tracks stretch past the six-minute mark, slowly building from ominous droning into cathartic explosions. Opening track "I Couldn't Tell You" is a perfect example of how much of Widows plays out, taking its time to transition through dynamic movements. It's an angsty slow-burner right out of the gates, tying together steady Slint-like rhythms with dazzled ripples of various guitar tones. Much like several of the songs on Widows, it reaches a boiling point near the end, slashing and burning everything that came before it in a wash of crashing cymbals and furious guitar. Gentler moments like "Opened Up My Arms" point toward the more tuneful sound Sennen would explore on later albums, with melodic vocal lines and drifting arrangements tying together Yo La Tengo's twilight moods, Teenage Fanclub's harmonizing, and Spacemen 3's knack for stretching two chords into something monumental.

tags: sennen, widows, 2005, flac,


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