Weyes Blood

Front Row Seat to Earth

Mexican Summer

Dec 14, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Weyes Blood, aka Natalie Mering, is a musician who spent copious time early in her musical career delving deeply into DIY ventures and noise projects such as Jackie-O Motherfucker and Nautical Almanac. Her Weyes Blood records have been altogether different endeavors; the Wicker Man-esque pagan noise clamor of 2011's The Outside Room and the ethereal yet dissonant autumnal fugues composing 2014's The Innocents. The sublime Front Row Seat to Earth finds Mering continuing on her glacial slide towards psychedelic folk akin to Linda Perhacs, Vashti Bunyan, Kevin Ayers, and Bridget St. John.

"Can't Go Home" is a wistful threnody, as Mering laments over ascetic keyboard loops, "Twist and turn/Trying to learn," which is something of a unifying motif for this album, one of being vulnerable enough to admit to confusion and ambivalence. Mering confesses with the disarming "It's starting to hurt," over reverb-laden, slow motion roller-rinkish organ bleeds on a track not dissimilar to something from John Cale's Music for a New Society in its dirge-like funereal, soulful intensity.

The album closes with "Front Row Seat," a carnival-esque noise collage that conjures cinematic imagery akin to the closing scene od Werner Herzog's Stroszek, with its inscrutable dancing chicken. And indeed, Front Row Seat to Earth invites oblique interpretations, and much like the Werner Herzog film, seemingly has its finger on the pulse of the absurdity of the American dream, transposed from Herzog's bereft dementia to Mering's quixotic, fever dream sonics. These songs may seem insulated, but they're anything but impervious to the outside world. In this album for insane times, Mering has attained universal connectedness while allowing us into her own excruciatingly cathartic purview, no easy feat. (www.facebook.com/weyesblood

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