Inspired the rise of climate change and the destruction of our environment, Natalie Mering’s fourth album as Weyes Blood uses the art and baroque pop of the ’60s west coast scene and turns it into timeless piece about love, faith, and the end of the world.
This is a pop record in the fullest sense.
Each song is soaked in nostalgia and filled with punchy drums and gorgeous pianos, backing harmonies pulled straight out of the Beach Boys. The lush violins and cosmic synths allows the build up of the music to blossom into an ethereal wall of emotion, as every chorus on the album is nearly heaven-like. You are not being bombarded with aggressive and punchy sounds, however, as she is able to pull off the swell of feelings in a surprisingly low-key way. Specifically, on the song Something to Believe, a slow piano intro is slowly transformed by a simple drum segue into the purifying feeling of the chorus that washes right over you.
Natalie Mering is looking to the sky.
“I want to make sure everybody feels like they deserve to be alive,” she said in an interview with Pitchfork. She expresses what it means to be alive throughout the album. A song of longing for a childhood of innocence where the world shined like her imagination on A Lot’s Gonna Change.
“Go back to a time when I was just a girl/When I had the whole world/Gently wrapped around me.”
On the Carpenters-esque Everyday, Natalie yearns for love and security.
“True love is making a comeback/For only half because the rest just feel bad.”
Standout track Movies perfectly encapsulates the album as a whole.
“The meaning of life doesn’t seem to/shine like that screen.”
It is as if you hearing the album through a cinematic lens. The stories of humanity sung in a grandiose and cathartic way and put through a filter of mythical soundscapes.
This is an album that is near perfect in what it is attempting to achieve. The lyrics are those of a folk artist, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell or Carole King. The album puts you in a state of dreamlike euphoria and submerged thoughts. This is an artist who has a vision and was finally given what she needed to produce a masterpiece.
Mering describes herself as a “nostalgic futurist.” The blending of her ’60s influences and modern contemporary indie and pop fills a room and holds your attention until the end. Though she sings of misery and sadness, she holds out hope. The uncertainty and delicacy that our future holds is one that is terrifying, but to Natalie, that is what makes us feel alive.
Mason Zeller is a Cal Poly environmental management and protection freshman and a KCPR staff member. Image credit to Weyes Blood.