- 18 Nov 22
Sad songs couched in the warmest of arrangements
This is the second part of a purported trilogy from Weyes Blood that started with 2019’s Titanic Rising, which came complete with a sense of impending doom. Continuing the theme, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is about “feeling about in the dark for meaning in a time of instability and irrevocable change”, according to songwriter Natalie Mering.
That sense of trying to hold on to a sense of self while everything around you falls apart certainly pervades, particularly on opener ‘It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody’, where Mering admits “Everybody splits apart, sometimes” on a song that’s part Buddhist anthem, part elegy for the disintegration of society. The ‘70s-inspired ‘Hearts Aglow’ has her admitting to “looking for love in the wrong places”, while ‘The Worst Is Done’ manages to couch her pessimism behind some gorgeous, Carpenters-esque arrangements.
Even the addition of birdsong on the slow drone of ‘God Turn Me Into A Flower’ manages to feel normal, with only the syncopated percussion of ‘Twin Flame’ meandering into the realm of background music.
While the themes may be dark, the music is anything but, with Mering and co-producer Jonathan Rado (Foxygen) layering her existential angst over the richest of arrangements – all immaculate backing vocals, tender piano, claps and finger-clicks. The warmest songs of despair you’re likely to hear this year.