Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Mering’

Get ready, because you’re about to feel. That’s what Tim Heidecker warns on “Fear of Death’s” opening track, “Prelude to Feeling.” And he means it. This is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and, you guessed it, the inevitability of death – and without a warning, those feelings might just sneak up on you.

Fear of Death is the follow-up to 2019’s What the Brokenhearted Do, which chronicles a fictional divorce from his wife and the accompanying depression. Just like that one with its morose theme of a contentious breakup, the new album puts Heidecker squarely in the tradition of comedians and actors like Steve Martin, Hugh Laurie, and Donald Glover, eschewing his funny side in his music and leaving the jokes for the screen.

Tim Heidecker and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering have chosen an alarmingly on-the-nose year to release a mostly sunlit album about death. Although the duo and a host of collaborators recorded “Fear of Death” in 2019, the absurdity of the album’s release amid a global pandemic, overdue uprisings against police brutality, raging West Coast wildfires and the 2020 election cycle only amplifies these songs’ often upbeat morbidity. Heidecker and Mering certainly aren’t strangers to the absurd and its accompanying hilarity. Over Heidecker’s 20-or-so-year career, he’s developed a distinctly surreal, ironic brand of hipster humour through the cult Adult Swim shows Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Decker. Even before Mering jumped to the forefront of the chamber-rock pack with last year’s apocalypse-themed instant classic Titanic Rising, she was singing about how bizarre the world’s end will look. Both also share a passion for ’70s soft rock, as do some of their Fear of Death collaborators.

Fear of Death is a Serious Album about Serious Topics – a doomed future, abandoning life in the city, and the inevitability of death. It’s Heidecker’s biggest sounding and most fleshed out album yet featuring an all star band comprised of Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering (vocals and piano), Drew Erickson (Jonathan Wilson, Dawes), The Lemon Twigs’ Brian and Michael D’Addario, Jonathan Rado, and string arrangements by Spacebomb’s Trey Pollard (Foxygen, Bedouine, The Waterboys, Natalie Prass). “I didn’t know that Fear of Death was going to be so focused on death when I was writing it,” Heidecker says. “It took a minute for me to stand back and look at what I was talking about to realize that, yes, I am now a middle-aged man and my subconscious is screaming at me: ‘You are getting old, dude! You are not going to live forever! Put down that cheeseburger!’”

The album’s lead single, “Fear of Death,” is “about as ‘Dead’ as I get,” says Heidecker. Over an intricate guitar line, Heidecker’s voice intertwines with Mering’s elevative vocals as he swears off partying and risky decisions: “I don’t see the value in having fun // I think I’m done growing // fear of death is keeping me alive.” And while “Fear of Death” is an upbeat take on avoiding potentially fatal choices and avoiding death, “Nothing” comes to terms with it. “Nothing, that’s what it amounts to, they say // A black void waiting down the road for us one day,” Heidecker sings from a recording session that he calls “one of the more spiritual and emotional moments of my creative life.”

The band nods to J.J. Cale in the bluesy and smoky “Say Yes To Me” and The Faces in the uptempo ode to country living, “Come Away With Me.” The album’s haunting and sad closer “Oh How We Drift Away” began as a Bernie Taupin/Elton John-style writing experiment, with Heidecker supplying the words and Mering setting them to music. “I was very interested in trying to do something big in scope and otherworldly,” Heidecker says. “I hope it leaves you thinking.”

While this is serious music about serious topics, it’s not all doom and gloom. Heidecker says, “I hope my observations and meditations on death, the afterlife, the future, while at times a little dark and grim, offer a little comfort and catharsis for some people, as I don’t think I’m the only one who occasionally thinks about this stuff.”

“This record is a dream come true for me,” he continues. “I got to work with some of the best, and nicest, musicians in town who helped me take some shabby, simple tunes and turn them into something I’m really proud of.” Occasionally, an idea with the shabbiest, simplest beginnings will grow into something more special than ever intended. With Fear of Death, Heidecker and his band of friends have achieved just that.

From the album Fear of Death, out September 25, 2020, on Spacebomb Records

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Here is a video for my song “Wild Time” that was shot on 16mm pre-Pandemic, then edited together during isolation. Felt like the right time to let this video out into the world, seeing as we’re all getting saddled down by some pretty grim realities. This song is about yearning for wildness and Mother Nature in a time of chaos. It’s for sensitive people who worry about the fate of humanity and feel powerless to do anything about it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking apocalyptic thoughts and realizing that won’t get you anywhere. What if the world has always been ending? What if the sprawl of our cities are just as wild as the forests? What if climate change and the destruction of our natural habitat is a reflection of the nature within us, however sublimely horrifying and hard to understand? We’re animals, we play out a very precarious drama of life, and we grasp for what’s left of the protective womb – but maybe the notion that we’re somehow separated from her is an illusion. Maybe it is, truly, a wild time to be alive. Maybe getting in touch with that as a culture and society would avert the worst case scenarios of ecological crisis and existential dread.

If you’ve gotten this far, wow, thank you for actually taking the time to read this. In other news, as you may have assumed, I am cancelling all of my headline shows for 2020, but I’m beginning to work on my next album that will come out in 2021- a different time, when hopefully we can see each other face to face once again.

xo

Natalie (aka Weyes Blood)

Weyes Blood “Wild Time” from Titanic Rising (April 5th, 2019)

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Here is a video for my song “Wild Time” that was shot on 16mm pre-Pandemic, then edited together during isolation. Felt like the right time to let this video out into the world, seeing as we’re all getting saddled down by some pretty grim realities. This song is about yearning for wildness and Mother Nature in a time of chaos. It’s for sensitive people who worry about the fate of humanity and feel powerless to do anything about it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking apocalyptic thoughts and realizing that won’t get you anywhere. What if the world has always been ending? What if the sprawl of our cities are just as wild as the forests? What if climate change and the destruction of our natural habitat is a reflection of the nature within us, however sublimely horrifying and hard to understand?  We’re animals, we play out a very precarious drama of life, and we grasp for what’s left of the protective womb – but maybe the notion that we’re somehow separated from her is an illusion. Maybe it is, truly, a wild time to be alive. Maybe getting in touch with that as a culture and society would avert the worst case scenarios of ecological crisis and existential dread.

If you’ve gotten this far, wow, thank you for actually taking the time to read this. In other news, as you may have assumed, I am cancelling all of my headline shows for 2020, but I’m beginning to work on my next album that will come out in 2021- a different time, when hopefully we can see each other face to face once again.

Weyes Blood “Wild Time” from Titanic Rising (Released April 5th, 2019)

Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising is one of the Best Albums of 2019.  The closing track of Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising also cites “Nearer, My God” in both name and mournful strings, but where the album vastly succeeds as a doomsday document is in its coverage of the joy, panic, resigned apathy, and beauty that comes with being alive as our planet is so obviously dying.

Natalie Mering’s previous three records as Weyes Blood drew from Laurel Canyon’s surrealist lineage to make psych folk that felt loosely tethered to earth, but Mering finds otherworldliness in straightforwardness on Titanic. Opener “A Lot’s Gonna Change” swells into a cinematic elegy to climate stability and youthful optimism, but one song later, Mering’s in interstellar love on the Flying Burrito Brothers–tinged space opera “Andromeda.” There’s no shortage of attentional leaps on Titanic Rising, whether Mering’s launching a musical-worthy inquiry into dependable love (“Everyday”), writing letters to dead friends (“Picture Me Better”), or disappearing into her favourite movies (fittingly, on “Movies”).

“Everyone knows you just did what you had to,” Mering reassures on “Wild Time,” its title an emotionally depleted answer to being alive amidst climate changes. It might as well serve as a quasi-pull quote for Titanic, an album that spans galaxies to consider whether it’s possible to give undivided attention to both our planet and our emotional sanity. Mering never really finds an answer to that question, but her record is all the more relatable for lack of one.

Weyes Blood made her TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers performing “Everyday” from Titanic Rising – which has been universally acclaimed and you can watch the July 16th performance right here

Weyes Blood’s “Something to Believe Tour” .

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Weyes Blood has released alternate takes of tracks from her 2019 critically acclaimed album “Titanic Rising”. Compiled on an EP titled Rough Trade Session, the set is available now via her label Sub Pop Records.

As end-of-year-list compilation season moves into full swing, most of us have probably been revisiting Weyes Blood’s staggering April release Titanic Rising. The baroque, psychedelic, and very much Jonathan Rado produced LP—and Natalie Mering’s first released via Sub Pop Records caught our ears over six months ago, but now you can hear a handful of the album’s singles anew courtesy of Rough Trade.

Streaming on DSPs worldwide today, Weyes Blood’s Rough Trade Session was recorded by Ariel Rechtshaid, and features a straightforward version of the ethereal  “Wild Times,” as well as slight reworkings of “Everyday,” the anthemic “Something to Believe,” and “A Lot Has Changed” (retitled “A Lot’s Gonna Change”). The alternate takes are stripped down and intimate, with Weyes Blood’s vintage, velvety vocals looming over piano chords.

The Rough Trade Session cover art is from the same photoshoot as Titanic Rising, featuring an underwater bedroom Weyes Blood designed herself.The release comes on the verge of yet another set of tour dates, these ones spanning Europe and Australia through 2020.

There is a stately magnificence about this album which sees Weyes Blood building ornate orchestral pop symphonies for listeners to drift on, as captivating layers of strings and synths swirl to dramatic effect.

Weyes Blood has come up for air with her fourth album Titanic Rising – a poetic image, considering the album artwork shows her submerged in water.

It’s a dignified and celestial body of work which has us floating in the Atlantic. Look out for Andromeda and Movies to transport you to another world, but from start to finish, it’s a beaut.

“Movies” taken from Titanic Rising, was released April 5th, 2019 on Sub Pop Records. http://www.weyesblood.com

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Weyes Blood aka Natalie Mering  is now four albums into her career. This is an excellent starting point for the uninitiated. Echoes of George Harrison, Carpenters, Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren, Philip Glass, and even Enya (in the voice layering department, she admits) all come ringing out of various songs.

This album could have happily lived in any decade across the past 50 years, yet it still feels so connected to today. By processing her memories, ideals, and other layers of her subconscious, she lands on at outlook that only spells survival and strength to me. It’s a beautiful record, in all senses. Beautifully strong, vulnerable, open, reassuring, and to pun on her name, wise.

‘Titanic Rising’ (Released: April 5th, 2019)

Santa Monica’s Natalie Mering, who records lush, idiosyncratic folk music under the name Weyes Blood, is returning next month with new album Front Row Seat To Earth. We’ve already heard first single “Seven Words” and the rest of the LP continues spinning further and further into ’70s West Coast singer-songwriter territory. New song “Do You Need My Love” is a sumptuously orchestrated odyssey that shoots out into space about halfway through its spellbinding six minutes, and you can (and should) listen below.

Weyes Blood Announces New Album, Shares Video For “Seven Words”

Natalie Mering aka Weyes Blood is returning with a brand new album her third album for Mexican Summer titled “Front Row Seat To Earth”.

returns with her third album for Mexican Summer, Front Row Seat To Earth.

For the record’s introduction she is sharing a video for the gorgeous single “Seven Words.” The Charlotte Linden Ercoli Coe directed clip weaves a narrative of leaving somewhere and something that may feel comfortable to get back to where one belongs melding perfecting with the enveloping warmth of the soundtrack. In a statement about the song Mering said,
“‘Seven Words’ is a wanderer’s tale, a well-worn subgenre in the tradition of farewell songs. The tune itself is trying to evoke the familiar act of leaving somebody in order to save them, or continue seeking. ‘These seven words’ are actually ‘these seven words I say to you,’ implying that words cannot express the feeling of leaving somebody you love.. Likewise the video takes a sideways glance at the weathered symbolism of transforming into a creature that can no longer survive in its previous form.”
Watch the endearing and at times goofy video here and check out the album’s cover art .

Weyes Blood – Bad Magic  From the LP, The Innocents (LP|CD|MP3) The invention of the drone camera may have changed low budget music videos, and, for that matter, low-budget filmmaking forever. A few years ago, you would’ve needed a helicopter to get these scenes of sweeping natural beauty. And for some reason, the shots of Natalie Mering adoringly lifting the drone into the sky just kill me. Weyes Blood’s new album ‘The Innocents’ will be available in LP / CD / Digital formats was released October .

Ocassionally you hear a piece of music that tries to break through those constructs of the norm, and even the most open minded of music nerds have to shift how their ears listen to things to understand what the hell is going on. That’s what I had to do in listening to the music of Natalie Mering, who records under the moniker Weyes Blood.

With her newest album The Innocents, Mering is making something closer to modern day chamber music tinged with an indie rock/folk feel it. It’s eerie, yet beautiful, and its music coming from a vulnerable place, influenced by experimental music of many ages throughout musical history.