Weyes Blood’s “Titanic Rising” Showcases Rising Indie Force

Ethan Rotnem, Editor-in-chief

Pennsylvania native Natalie Mering, known professionally as Weyes Blood, is anything but a household name. However, the classic rock melodies scattered throughout her newest album, “Titanic Rising,” may make many wonder why this under-the-radar singer has not blown up yet.

If her album is any indication of what’s to come, she just might. Throughout the first half of her new album, the singer takes a page out George Harrison’s guidebook; his influence could not be more clearly defined throughout this section.

On songs like “Andromeda,” Mering laments the way in which she and others in modern-day society deny love to focus themselves more on other, more profitable aspects of their lives. The message is simple; the instrumentation on the track, however, elevates the song greatly. Accompanied by soulful horns and a swaying drum beat, Mering sings of her quest for love in a loveless society: “Treat me right/I’m still a good man’s daughter/Let me in if I break/And be quiet if I shatter.” The song’s best feature, however, is undoubtedly Mering’s use of haunting harmonies; the overlaying of her voice on itself innumerable times over creates a nostalgic atmosphere which may as well have been the one Paul and John cultivated on Abbey Road.

“Everyday” presents another love-seeking version of Mering, who admits her undying need for companionship in a society so wired towards staying single. This song is undoubtedly the most 70’s inspired track on the record; unsurprisingly, that makes it one of the best songs on it. The gentle tinkle of piano keys accompanies Mering’s voice exquisitely, a voice so perfect for her work that it may as well be the reincarnated voice of Karen Carpenter.

That said, it is 2019, and any ‘inspired’ record runs the risk of becoming a copy of that record’s muses. And while Mering gets close to slipping into that territory during some sections of her album, she injects it with a sense of the present in the latter half, where the sonic inspirations she’d utilized throughout the album are thrown mostly out the window.

On album standout “Movies,” Mering compares the lives we live to the fictionalized, yet alluring, lives portrayed on silver screens throughout the world. An eerily gentle piano, ascending and descending in pitch throughout the song, accompanies Mering’s thoughtful voice throughout the song. Her usage of sparse words in the song is most pronounced when she invokes literary devices in her work: “I’m bound to that summer/Big box office hit/Making love to a counterfeit.” The final two minutes of the song, however, allows the song’s almost murky, underwater vibe to transform into a more angelic, freeing aura. In that last two minutes, listeners will understand exactly what her album title means, as the song lifts itself out of the dripping depths of the sea into the vast expanses of the sky.