Front Row Seat To Earth + The Innocents LP BundleOctober 21, 2016 Mexican Summer
Weyes Blood LP Bundle Includes:
- Front Row Seat To Earth LP
- The Innocents LP
The new Weyes Blood record, Front Row Seat To Earth, is the folk music of the near future. Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, embeds her sublime song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, and outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course.
There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato, and the ecstatic chord resolves. It is the joyful release of energy as the song delicately unfolds from intro to extrospection.
But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, and acceptance of change. Love and loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in its hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen and some special guests, contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of A.M. radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.
The closeness of this record – how personal, alone, and frank it feels – conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the “Earth” of its title. Weyes Blood harbors devastating weight while also universalizing the strange ways of identity and relationships. These are not typical love songs or protest songs — they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love and affirm the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world.
The Innocents is the name of the second album by Natalie Mering, who performs as Weyes Blood. Its ten songs confront us with their truths. There is the beauty of Ms. Mering’s voice, whose strength across two vocal registers reveals a vulnerability belied by some of her lyrics. On all but one of the songs on The Innocents, her voice is the dominant quality, tracked in multi-part harmonies with herself. There is the semblance of training in her voice to get her to where she can sing today, or any number of devices we as listeners impose upon her, because most of us are not privy to a vocalist of such rare choral purity.
Then there is the truth of the words she sings on The Innocents, words so clear that they cannot be misinterpreted. It’s not unintentional that Weyes Blood is a colloquialism referring to Flannery O’Connor, though Mering doesn’t mince for words. Forget similes and metaphors: when you are confronted with lyrics like those found on “Some Winters” (“I’m as broken/as a woman can be” … “Go on, leave me for the last time”), lyrics that are so emotionally unflinching that they could pierce stone, the notion of any other interpretations seem trivial. And yet, you will try. As you sift through her words, you’ll feel something, and you’ll associate those feeling with past experiences that may cause you to associate them with something more, something that affects your own emotional state.