Weyes Blood - 'Titanic Rising' Album Review
I have a confession to make, I have not listened to a single Weyes Blood track up until this point. I guess my reasoning is that I only got into a ‘singer-songwriter’ kick in the last year or so and artists like Pheobe Bridgers and Scoccer Mommy filled that gap for me so I never really saw the appeal of adding another one to my playlist, as ignorant as it was. But, after hearing her name buzzing around the indie scene for the past few years, I decided to check out her new album Titanic Rising, mostly based off of it’s beautiful cover art. So going into this album hearing none of the singles and none of her previous work I wasn’t really expecting much, maybe a few sad lines and an existential crisis or two but this album pretty much blew me away.
There is something so deeply tragic yet uplifting about Titanic Rising that can be heard in the beautiful opener, ‘A Lot’s Gonna Change’, in which Weyes Blood combines a heartfelt lecture to her former self with lush strings and piano chords taken straight out of a the climax of a rom-com. This track touches upon most of the things I adore about this album, from it’s reliance on orchestral instruments to Weyes’ incredible vocals to it’s nostalgic and warm lyrics, everything this track touches on, the album continues in the most wonderful way. It’s hard to express how this track elicits both hope and anxiety as it intertwines uplifting violins with some sinister and eerie vocal samples but this is expressed much clearer on tracks like ‘Wild Time’, which is probably tied for my favourite track of the year right now. The song's slow guitar lead along-side Weyes’ haunting voice harmonising with the dramatic piano results in such an all-encompassing and strangely melancholic track, on both the emotional and musical fronts.
At spots on this album Weyes’ influences can be heard in full force like on the bouncy and uncharacteristically up-beat ‘Everyday’ in which she throws in some Kate Bush-esque fiddle notes to liven up the marching drum pattern. Or on the fantastic ‘Andromeda’ which opens with one of my favourite opening lines on the album and crescendos into a full-blown country banger complete with twangy guitars and simplistic percussion. At these points, Weyes Blood breaks the formula of the sombre-singer-songwriter and makes her own strand of country-pop that kept me coming back for repeat listens, especially on the stunning ‘Movies’. Opening with these haunting ‘Blade Runner’-esque synth notes, this track builds and builds more vocal layers and more warm instrumentation until Weyes’ beautiful lyrics about her fixation on the fairy tales in movies become part of the all-engrossing orchestra of sounds.
I’m seriously running out of adjectives to describe the sound of this album but the lyrical content is arguably just as important, as Weyes Blood effectively conveys the sadness, nostalgia and hope across Titanic Rising despite having only having listened to her for the first time last Friday afternoon. Knowing nothing about her outside of this album, she perfectly conveys the feeling of being lost at a point in your life and living in a bubble of your own thoughts.
I’ve listened to this project all the way through probably over 10 times in the last 2 days and i’m not sure what it is that keeps bringing me back. Every single track on here combines absolutely rich instrumentals with emotionally charged lyrics and vocal performances that make this album such a potent listen from start to finish. Despite it’s name sounding like a straight-to-dvd sequel of the Spielberg classic, Titanic Rising offers an ear into the inner monologue of Weyes Blood, and through her use of poignant lyrics, beautiful harmonies and an orchestra of instruments, each track feels like a scene in the strange and sensational movie of her life.
Listen to the album in full below: