Keep in touch with VOXX

Music WEYES-BLOOD_B3-DO025_0_GR_20190327162427

Published on June 5th, 2019 | by voxx


Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

Glacial beauty from Natalie Mering’s buoyant fourth album…

Natalie Mering was 16 years old when she first performed as Weyes Blood (or “Bhlud”, as she sometimes preferred), taking her name from a Flannery O’Connor novel and her inspiration from Syd Barrett. It was, she told Mojo Magazine earlier this year, a “saving grace” to be able to perform as an improvisatory solo musician with an acoustic guitar, because nobody else wanted to be in a band with her: “Nobody took it as seriously as I did.”

In the 15 years since, Mering has found no shortage of people keen to work with her, from Jackie O Motherf**ker to Ariel Pink, Perfume Genius to Father John Misty. Yet over four albums, the nomadic California-born artist has evolved along her own distinctive lines, Weyes Blood’s musical stem cells – noise, drone, freak-folk – slowly mutating and multiplying into the blissful cosmic pop that fills Titanic Rising. It’s not an entirely unexpected leap forward – 2016’s Front Row Seat To Earth saw her moving away from the Marble Index margins and into the honeyed Laurel Canyon light but even so, Titanic Rising is a revelation.

These opulent, sculptural songs have sacrificed none of Mering’s idiosyncrasy, or ability to unnerve. Dreamy opener ‘A Lot’s Gonna Change’ has its burnished piano framed by a blast of chill space-age synths, like an eerie call sign marking a new transmission. The fabulous ‘Everyday’, meanwhile, might sound like a perfect slice of Carpenters songcraft, but there’s something almost uncanny about its endlessly proliferating melodic twists and curlicues, as if it’s been taken over by an AI generator fed ’70s radio. Like Julia Holter’s Have You In My Wilderness, Titanic Rising is the sound of an intractably experimental writer exploring and inhabiting “conventional” song structures, and the results are tremendous.

On the surface, at least, this is a record committed to the idea of connection, of reaching out, of love. “Give me something I can see,” sings Mering on the Judee Sill swoon of ‘Something To Believe’, “something bigger and louder than me” – while ‘Andromeda’, a spectacular re-imaging of The Carpenters’ ‘Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft’, looks up at the sky and decides “Love is calling/It’s time to let it through”.

There are little references to “relatable” everyday incidents on Titanic Rising – drinking too much coffee, a party conversation about monogamy’s limits – but Mering always returns to hidden messages, lost signals. It’s why she evokes Hoagy Carmichael on the antique echo of ‘Picture Me Better’ or sings of a century “lost to memories” on ‘A Lot’s Gonna Change’. The bit of Titanic Rising visible above the water is beautiful; the nine-tenths submerged make it fascinating. Mering might no longer be the only one taking her music seriously, but she’s still out there on her own.

- By Jake White

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑

  • Welcome to VOXX Online

    voxx_coversVOXX is Lincolnshire’s number one volunteer-led magazine, running both quarterly print editions and ongoing digital content, giving young people the opportunity to develop real journalism skills.
    READ MORE about how you can get involved.

  • This Month’s Theme

    We’re beginning to develop ideas for VOXX Issue 69, due for release this summer! A summer release means summery themes. Stories to inspire you, to make you feel good, to prepare you for your next steps in life. We want this issue to be light and fun, a perfect backyard read to help us forget about the dreary British weather.

    Good luck, and happy writing!

  • Advertise with VOXX

    Want your business to be exposed to the whole region and beyond? Advertising with VOXX might just help you.

    We publish a new issue of this ever-growing youth magazine quarterly in print, with ongoing content on this website throughout the year.

    We offer a range of sizes to suit every price range and we’ll even design the artwork for you at no extra cost!

    Contact us for more information about this excellent value opportunity.

  • Latest


  • Connect with us!

    Facebook: VOXX
    Twitter: @voxxmagazine
    Instagram: voxxmagazine
    Pinterest: VOXX