Returning to Nashville for the first time in a couple of years, in support of their excellent recent fourth LP, Expect the Best, New York/Washington indie rockers Widowspeak are slated to headline The High Watt tonight, Oct. 6, with support from Chicago garage rock up and comers Clearance and local favorites Sad Baxter. A stacked and diverse sampling of three exciting and eclectic rising bands, this is without a doubt one of the coolest club shows of the fall, and tickets are still available to purchase right here. Read more about the lineup!
Helmed by guitarist and vocalist Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas, both natives of Tacoma, Washington, though partially based in Brooklyn, where the band came into existence, Widowspeak have spent the last seven years and four full-length releases, most recently this summer’s Expect the Best, perfecting their fusion of indie rock, dream pop, shoegaze, and grunge pop (as they like to call it, “cowboy grunge”), mastering the ability to capture mood and setting with their expansive, personal style. Since rising to recognition with their self-titled, 2011 debut, the group, rounded out live by drummer James Jano and bassist Willy Muse, have become darlings of the indie scene, met with widespread critical acclaim and buzz throughout the blogosphere, as they’ve continued to frequently tour and, with each release, add more layer and nuance to their sound. With Expect the Best, the band returned to their Pacific Northwest home, both literally and sonically, and wrote with their live, four-piece lineup in mind, resulting in their most focused, self-reflective, and confident effort to date, guided by producer Kevin MacMahon (Swans, Real Estate). A honed and dynamic live force, the band return to Music City for the first time in over two years, for what’s sure to be one of the best shows of the fall.
Heralded as garage rock revivalists and a fixture of the flourishing slacker rock movement, Chicago’s Clearance have been kicking around for a few years, their debut LP, Rapid Rewards, earning praise and topping many best-of lists upon its 2015 release. Adopting a lean, breezy, poppy, grungy, indie rock sound, the band are not a far-cry from a modern Pavement, pulling in equal measure elements of classic pop, ’70s and ’80s underground rock, ’90s grunge, and more recent garage rock a la Mac DeMarco or Kurt Vile. With a sophomore album on the way, the buzzy up and comers seem destined to keep rising quite a bit in statute, so this is a cool opportunity to catch them before they break out on the same level as many of their sonic peers.
A well-matched local act to open this show on a high note, duo Sad Baxter, who we’ve been obsessing over for years now, harbor a clear affinity for many of the same influences that inform parts of Widowspeak and Clearance, landing on calmer, heavier sound, while employing similarly grungy riffs, pop accessibility, and personal and melancholy themes. The band’s typically sad, sarcastic songs are delightfully juxtaposed with singalong worthy hooks, and their live show is honed from years of countless performances. We hope you’ve taken the time to catch them by now, but if not, they’re going to be an amazing complement to this lineup- show up early!
Widowspeak, Clearance, and Sad Baxter will perform tonight, Oct. 6 at The High Watt. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $12-14.