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Alternative 09/05/2024

Sour Widows Release New Single 'Staring Into Heaven/Shining'

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Bay Area trio Sour Widows share "Staring Into Heaven/Shining" the entrancing new single and album closer from their recently announced debut record Revival Of A Friend, out June 28th on Exploding In Sound Records.

The song comes with a video directed by Henry Kinder that was shot across Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach in San Francisco and Thee Stork Club in Oakland.
"After my mom passed in late June of 2021, I went on a trip in August of that year in an attempt to put physical distance between myself and the pain of what I had just experienced. I was searching for relief wherever I thought I could find it; ultimately, that trip taught me that grief cannot be outrun," Susanna Thomson explains. "'Staring Into Heaven/Shining' is a confessional song, written at a time when I was desperate to gain control over my life through ideas I had about grieving the 'right' way. As I tried and failed to reconcile feelings of regret and unanswerable questions, it became clearer to me that all I can do is choose to simply observe the experience of grief. The lyrics are searching, but come to their natural end in a place without resolution; it wasn't until after finishing the song that I realized there can be hope in accepting that there are things we cannot know about death."

Sour Widows have expanded their previously announced summer tour dates to include a fall run with youbet. Tickets for the fall dates go on sale Friday 5/10 at 10am ET via

In the seven years since Maia Sinaiko and Susanna Thomson started Sour Widows, they have survived a litany of tragedies and tribulations. Sinaiko lost a partner to an accidental overdose just before the band began. Thomson's mother was diagnosed with a rare cancer, which she lived with for four years before passing away in June 2021. As they prepared to enter Oakland's Tiny Telephone in 2023 to make an album partly of songs about navigating those losses and the lives they shaped, more troubles mounted, including a traumatic breakup and Thomson's father's sudden cancer diagnosis.

Sour Widows has served as an essential outlet for Sinaiko, Thomson, and drummer Max Edelman, a way to process real-time woes so as to transmute them into something beautiful, useful, real, and lasting. It has been an anchor, too, keeping them lashed to reality as the world roiled around them. Revival Of A Friend, the band's entrancing and powerful debut album is their collective testament to that process, an hour-long lesson in endurance that is years in the making.

Inspired by the folk singing of their youth, the grit and grace of Joni Mitchell, the slowly spiraling dazzle of Duster and Bedhead, and the steady angularity and sudden snarl of Slint, Revival of a Friend fully recognizes the arbitrary cruelty of individual existence and finds that some of the best ways beyond it are to share harmonies, a tangle of electric guitars, or a song that simply imagines hope somewhere on the other side. Methodically built over many years, the album is a poignant and gripping record about the pain of growing up and getting on with it.

Tour Dates:
6/2: San Francisco, CA - Union Street Festival
6/16: Davis, CA - Davis Music Festival
6/20: San Diego, CA - Voodoo Room ^
6/21: Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room ^
7/10: Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
7/11: Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
7/13: San Francisco, CA - The Independent
7/26: Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon
9/9: Atlanta, GA - 529 Club *
9/10: Nashville, TN - DRKMTTR *
9/11: Asheville, NC - Eulogy *
9/12: Washington, DC - Comet Ping Pong *
9/13: Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's *
^ w/ Teethe
* w/ youbet

Sour Widows' self-belief stems from a bond Sinaiko and Thomson formed amid the relative innocence of early adolescence. They met as teenagers at Camp Winnarainbow, the legendary and long-running circus- and performing-arts camp in Northern California founded by Wavy Gravy and Jahanara Romney. They penned their first tune together in a songwriting workshop and kept in touch after summer's end, visiting one another and sharing new, largely acoustic numbers that they'd often arrange for three voices with another pal. In the Summer of 2017, when they finally found themselves living near one another, they became on-again, off-again roommates and ever-devoted bandmates, eventually inviting Edelman, who joined after seeing the duo's first show ever, to expand the sound. They helped one another through and across those aforementioned hurdles and into these complicated but compulsive songs.

This bond is ever-apparent throughout Revival of a Friend, where the vocal and instrumental kinship Sinaiko and Thomson have feels blood-born and instinctual. Along with bassist Timmy Stabler, who's now played with Sour Widows for five years, they meticulously mapped the tempos for almost every song with Edelman, adding near-undetectable rhythmic variations to give the songs the same lived-in, elastic feeling in the studio that they've developed onstage. Edelman brings a perfect mix of force and finesse to these songs, as if he's transcribing the tumult of life in real time.

That chemistry also radiates in the way they sing together. Captured in righteous detail by engineer and producer Maryam Qudus (Toro y Moi, SASAMI, Spacemoth), an invaluable member of these sessions, Thomson's 1972 Ibanez Custom Agent and Sinaiko's 1989 Gibson SG sound made to mirror one another. The pair's largely self-taught approach again suggests they are here to support each other.

However pervasive it is, grief is not the only takeaway on Revival of a Friend. Sinaiko, Thomson, and Edelman are still here, after all, in a great DIY rock band that is a gathering of best friends, having made a mighty record that encapsulates and so sublimates all this anguish. "Will you love me through this?" Sinaiko and Thomson sing together as lead single "Cherish" careens from its overdriven crescendo into an elegant finale about looking for love, trust, and salvation. It is a righteous call for help from our communities that feels necessary right now, in a timeline riven by wars and injustices and upheavals driven by a powerful few who seem to see loss as a casual side-effect. It feels especially relevant that it emerges as a work of friendship from the Bay Area, dominated in recent years not by stories of the arts but instead by technology and the inequality it has wrought there. Revival of a Friend is rooted in personal hurts, but it feels like an invitation to band together and work through our pains as one, to share the burdens of the world until we can find a better way forward. This is not delusion; this is hope, as difficult and necessary now as ever.

Track List:
1. Big Dogs
2. Revival
3. Witness
4. I-90
5. Initiation
6. Gold Thread
7. Cherish
9. Shadow Of A Dove

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