Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat to Earth (New CD)
Weyes Blood's Front Row Seat to Earth is folk music of the near future. The closeness of Natalie Mering's third album conceals it's aspirations to the outside, to the "Earth" of it's title. Mering leads us through the microcosm of the personal to the macrocosm of the transpersonal. These are not typical love songs or protest songs of folk before; they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love. There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the '70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato, and the ecstatic chord resolves. It is the joyful release of energy as the song delicately unfolds from intro to extrospection. But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, and acceptance of change. Love and loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in it's hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen and some special guests, contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of A.M. radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.