By Taylor Faber
Artist: Weyes Blood
Album: Titanic Rising
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Ever since Natalie Wering debuted as Weyes Blood in 2011, it would be an understatement to say that she has grown exponentially as a well-verse musician and a choice lyricist. It seems that her experimental noise rock beginnings have developed into her own style of nostalgic folk pop.
As it might suggest in the title, Wering is deriving a positive message from the depths of mindset as deep as the Titanic whether it be caused by a stail work she resides in or a toxic state of romance that has taken a hold on her life. What is it that transcends her from these troubles? Contemplation.
In the opening track, “A Lot’s Gonna Change,” Wering is reminiscing back to a time where responsibilities and loss did not have an affect on her well being as they do now. These could be linked to the death of a family member, a close friend, or they could even be linked to the climate changes that have been occurring over the last decade. Regardless of what she is trying to derive from her past, Wering supplies the listener with optimistic advice woven in the chorus such as, “A lot’s going to change,” and, “‘Cause you got what it takes.”
This theme can be explained more with the last lyrical track, “Picture Me Better.” Here Wering is mourning over a close friend who had taken their life around the time the album was being written. She uses the phrase, “I finally found time to write you this letter,” in a way to express how she tries to reach her lost friend whether it be through prayer or deep thought.
It is apparent that she longs for them dearly and wishes for their presence, yet it doesn’t embark on the emotional vulnerability that most people would express when dealing with losing someone close to them. Wering instead feels empowered when she is reminiscing on the past memories they had together, knowing that their time together was well spent. The phrase, “Waiting for something worth meaning,” entails how she is in search for a purpose possibly similar to that of her friend.
This idea of contemplative reasoning can be noted in several places throughout the album as Wering takes us on a voyage for a deeper meaning in her life. The first single of the album, “Andromeda,” dives into this topic head first with no precautionary thought of breath beforehand.
She is in denial of these signs of love and destiny that have been presented to her by what seems to be a higher being of some sort. It is apparent that these predestined prophecies have failed her before and she is turning her head at anything that might suggest her to pursue that fate. Her doubts are then countered by the need to fill the void of loneliness that has plagued her for the time being; leading her to give into the fate of love that is presented to her.
With the help of multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, Wering is able to form a sound of all of her influences while still creating something of its own. It can be noted from the first listen that ‘60s and ‘70s folk from artists of the likes of George Harrison and Joni Mitchell played a pivotal role when curating the album.
While this acoustic folk-pop driven aspect gave the instrumentals of this album a raw foundation, it was also complemented by an atmospheric accompaniment similar to that of a deep cut off of Beach House’s “Depression Cherry”. Wering’s use of vintage synths gives the listener the sense of comfort that is meant to be portrayed throughout the album.
Wering successfully put together a near masterpiece by collecting her introspective ideas towards life and pasting them with her own blend of chamber pop and modern folk music.