Today, Widowspeak share poignant new single “Breadwinner,” their first release since Expect the Best (2017), the band’s fourth album. The stop-motion video was made by the duo, singer-songwriter Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas, at home in Brooklyn. Watch the video below.
“I have to recognize all that we took for granted when I wrote this song a few years ago, or even when we were recording it last winter. There was the option to imagine a new reality for yourself, the choice to quit and start over, the possibility to support your loved ones. Obviously, there are lyrics within this song that feel so strangely on-the-nose right now (even the part about bread), and perhaps their meaning has changed since everything is different,” says Hamilton. “Now feels like the only time we could possibly let this song into the world, when everyone is trying to figure out life beyond the way we earn a living, and how we’ll earn anything going forward. So, without wanting to capitalize on the heavy realities we’re all facing, we hope it brings some comfort or at least entertainment to people at home.”
This song is about shared burdens in life and love, and hoping that there’s something transcendent, honest in whatever it is to work. Recorded and co-produced with Sam Evian (Cass McCombs, Kazu Makino, Anna Burch) and mixed by Ali Chant (Aldous Harding, Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey), “Breadwinner” was inspired by the cover of a zine by Ian Vens, which sat on display in their home for years. It read, “OH PLEASE BABY JUST QUIT OK IF ANYTHING COMES ALONG PLEASE PROMISE ME YOULL QUIT THAT JOB.” Hamilton felt there was a lot of truth in it, in her own experiences with dead-end work that felt unfulfilling, the economic instability that goes hand-in-hand with choosing to “follow one’s dreams.” The lyrics were also inspired by a growing fascination with bread as allegory; the idea of proving oneself, and reaping the reward of labor.