Widowspeak announced their sixth album today—titled The Jacket and set for release on March 11—and released the lead single, the western-twangy “Everything Is Simple.” It’s built on a grumbly bass line with mud on its boots and a 5 o’clock shadow. Tempered drums maintain pace alongside Robert Earl Thomas’s muddy guitar riffs as a piano riff eventually floats in. Molly Hamilton’s voice is plush as she sings: “Everything is simple ’til it’s not / Learned to love the ropes when you were caught / See they could be braided a better way.”
“At the beginning of something (a relationship, a project, a job, a new place) you have this very pure feeling toward it,” Hamilton said alongside the release. “Everything feels less complicated because you’re oriented wholly toward that potential. It’s undefined, and that makes it easier to understand, because you can’t see the problems yet. As time goes on, you learn more, you experience more, and you see where the limitations exist: not even necessarily ones imposed upon you, but where you draw your own lines. Maybe you can’t see what was holding you back until it’s in the past, and by then others’ perspectives contradict your own. Everyone is constructing their own versions of reality. The song was originally going to feed into the drama of the imaginary band, but it’s about our own band too. I was thinking about how I’m an inherently unreliable narrator about my own life, and at the same time maybe there are no ‘true’ stories.”
The single also comes with a music video by OTIUM that features Hamilton singing in the stands of a rodeo. Scenes of bull riders getting knocked around and eventually thrown off their bulls weave between flashes of horse riders and Hamilton’s direct eye contact with the camera. It’s a fitting metaphor for surviving: Getting on the bull is straightforward enough until you realize how hard it can be to hold on.
Watch the video below and pre-order The Jacket via Captured Tracks here.