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Grass Widow

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Album Review

Though nominally connected to the lo-fi underground, the San Francisco trio Grass Widow's debut is filled with far more attention to melody and arrangement than many of their noise-loving peers. Clocking in at a slim 22-and-a-half minutes, none of the nine songs exceed the three-minute mark. There is also nothing wasted. The songs are filled with carefully layered harmonies ("Out of Body Experience"), counterpoints (Raven Mahon's guitar on "Celebrate the Mundane"), and a pocketful of loping surf and girl group grooves that keep the proceedings sunny. Pleasantly rough edges add a vitality to the songs, and it is hard not to compare Grass Widow to their East coast comrades in the Vivian Girls (and Mahon and bassist Hannah Lew formerly played with founding Vivians drummer Frankie Rose), but Grass Widow absolutely excels in their attention to detail. They even tackle instrumentals, like "Long Walk on the Beach," which is hardly a throwaway, but moves with equal breeze, verve, and purpose into a Breeders-like deconstruction. Substantiative without being weighty, Grass Widow's self-titled debut is an idea-filled starting point.


Formed: San Francisco, California

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although it makes some sense to lump Grass Widow in with the Vivians, Dum Dums, and various other "girl groups" that rushed onto the indie underground stages of the late 2000s, the San Francisco-based trio is actually a slightly different animal. Formed, predictably enough, in the late 2000s, the group is comprised of Hannah Lew, Raven Mahon, and Lillian Maring; the three utilize the same sort of egalitarian, D.I.Y. embrace of collective creative possibility embodied by Rough Trade heroes such as...
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Grass Widow, Grass Widow
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