Following their recent release “Witness,” a sprawling track that cycles the listener through shades of grief, Sour Widows return with “I-90”, another explosive single produced in collaboration with Oakland-based engineer Maryam Qudus (Toro y Moi, SASAMI, Spacemoth).
Written in 2017 after the devastating loss of their partner, Sour Widows’ Maia Sinaiko speaks to the song’s growth and development:
“I wrote ‘I-90’ at a time when all I could do was make music alone in my room. Day to day life was a constant cycling through memories of places, feelings and experiences of which I was now the sole keeper. I found that the most mundane memories – driving in my partner’s car, the rural midwest landscapes of my college town – felt priceless, acting as vivid portals into what was now an irrevocable part of my life. The endlessness of grief supersedes the normal passage of time and the people we lose remain in places we can never go back to. It’s magic and terrible all at once; that is what this song is about.”
In addition to finalizing material for their full length record, the band has kept busy in 2022 with debuts at SXSW and Treefort, and tours with SPELLING, Pile and Babehoven across the west coast. The trio recently completed their first east coast tour co-headlining with Living Hour, and look forward to three west coast shows opening for Duster.
Sour Widows was formed in 2017 by Maia Sinaiko, Susanna Thomson and Max Edelman. All three had been close since meeting in various phases of childhood, and when they found themselves living in the same area, making music together came naturally. Maia and Susanna initially performed as a guitar/vocal duo, with Max joining on as drummer in 2018 to add a rhythmic element that completed the band, grounding the songs and opening them to a new range of possibilities. With a musical connection that was an extension of their longtime friendship, the band began fine-tuning a sound that swung from gently glowing harmonizing to energetic bursts of feedback-laced catharsis.
With their ‘Crossing Over’ EP—described by Pitchfork as “wielding raw vulnerability like a superpower”—Sour Widows discovered a new intensity by turning inward. The record dialed back some of the volume that drove their self-titled 2020 debut to make space for themes of self-reflection and painful change that cut through with sharpened clarity. The luminous vocal harmonies, complex guitar interplay, and understated drumming that have been at the core of the band’s sound remained foundational; but these four songs reached deeper, all the more stirring in their subtlety.
The unique form of the EP documented the band discovering a voice which derives its translucent power from restraint and intentionality. ‘Crossing Over’ represented a new phase of Sour Widows’ artistry, pointing to further growth with their soon-to-follow full length debut.