The trancelike playfulness of Widowspeak’s new single “Money” hooks you in within the first few seconds of listening to the song. While the booming rhythm section holds down the floor, a bright guitar lick is picked over and over again until the walls begin to fade away and you feel as if you’re flying. Once at cruising altitude, songwriter and vocalist Molly Hamilton greets you as the pilot of our metaphorical-song-airplane and takes you on a fantastic tour of the sonic world Widowspeak has created.
And thankfully that world is bigger than just “Money” — on June 23, along with the song’s release Widowspeak announced their fifth album, Plum, which is due out on August 28 via Captured Tracks. Additionally, the band released a music video for “Money” which features a variety of ‘found footage’ clips that speak to the song’s deeper meaning.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about the things we tell ourselves in order to ‘forget’ the toll of our collective actions — whatever makes it easier to forgive what we’re complicit in,” Hamilton said. “Some of that is related to the environment and how people have trained themselves to tune out ‘environmentalist propaganda.’ We made part of this video at a park in Kingston, NY and the archival footage is mostly pulled from films aimed at employees or shareholders of various industries. The narration for many of them (forestry, agriculture, mining, energy) was surprisingly concerned with the dangers of an environment out of balance… Shows you that we haven’t learned much in the last 70 years. On the other hand, the lyrics are also about capitalism and how it trains us to see everything in terms of value, even our experiences, and we get so caught up in seeking some sort of return on investment that we ignore the damage we inflict (on people, on ourselves, on the planet).”
In this regard, Widowspeak’s music is amazingly timely as more and more Americans become frustrated with the current state of quasi-crisis the country has found itself in for the past four months. While the aesthetics aren’t very similar to the protest music movement embodied by an early-60s Bob Dylan, the music video for “Money” is a powerful example of modern cultural activism. Between the impactful images of nature and fire and the moving refrain of “money doesn’t grow on trees,” it is clear that Widowspeak is not only making phenomenal music, but also a profound statement.
Watch the video for Widowspeak’s new single “Money” below: