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Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising (Album Review)

Thursday, 18 April 2019 Written by Huw Baines

Weyes Blood’s ‘Titanic Rising’ is an exceptionally modern, prescient singer-songwriter record that also couldn’t do a better job of channelling mid-’70s California if it tried. Landing somewhere between Karen Carpenter sitting in with Randy Newman and a polemical statement on present day alienation, Natalie Mering has crafted something quite special here.

The record’s lustrous compositions utilise the airy, dynamic movements of Mering’s voice as another element in the tableau, helping to stitch a conversational quality to melodic choices that tend towards the opulent. “Drank a lot of coffee today,” runs the opening line of Something to Believe, a song that quickly sweeps us up in a magical, emotive chorus.

The iceberg adjacent to the LP’s title, which is a reference to both the maritime disaster and James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster, draws down Mering’s lyrical focus: climate change, technology and the resulting sense of inevitability, dread and isolation.

But, always, there is a glimmer of hope, even if it’s only a moment of escapism. “The movies I watched when I was a kid, the hopes and the dreams, don't give credit to the real things,” Mering sings at one point. “I love the movies.”

Appearing from time to time at the edge of the frame are flecks of weird-pop not too far removed from Cate Le Bon or Tame Impala at their floatiest. Mirror Forever shrouds a bruised heart in another fabulous piece of melodic songcraft, but it’s more zoned out and fried than the stately arrangements elsewhere. It’s a subtle change but an effective one at the album’s midpoint.

‘Titanic Rising’ feels like a culmination of sorts for Mering as a writer. It has an ambitious palette that was perhaps beyond her early work, and the rich instrumentation brings out new highs in her vocal performance. Similarly, this is an evocative, human take on problems that face us all. Its biggest act of defiance is to answer helplessness and isolation with something entirely beautiful.

Weyes Blood Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon April 22 2019 - BRIGHTON Haunt
Tue April 23 2019 - BRISTOL Exchange
Wed April 24 2019 - MANCHESTER YES
Thu April 25 2019 - LONDON Islington Assembly Hall

Click here to compare & buy Weyes Blood Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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