Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, embeds her sublime song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, & 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 & the ecstatic chord resolves. But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, & acceptance of change. Love & 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 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, & 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 & relationships. These are not typical love songs or protest songs -- they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love & affirm the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world.