Posted on April 10th, 2024

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 due June 28th on Exploding In Sound Records, 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.

Alongside the album announcement the band shares a video for the album’s lead single, “Cherish.” "’Cherish’ is a plea for love disguised as a curse against the world,” Sinaiko explains. “I started struggling with my mental health in my late teens, and the loss of my partner at age 21 - as well as the tumult of our relationship - exacerbated those issues. I was a very angry person, and I went through several years of being emotionally volatile. Both wanting to connect and be seen while being enraged at the state of my life, I would lash out just to make contact with someone, even if that contact was hurtful. To cherish something is to love it for all that it is. The song says everything I couldn't say to my family and friends in that grief-stricken state; I hope it can serve as a reminder that we all deserve to be cherished through our hardships, even when we are at our most difficult to love.”

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