Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Album Review: The Weather Station – Loyalty

2 min read

The Weather Station make folk music that is at once indebted to the past, and yet totally forward reaching. Though the influences upon the band’s mastermind Tamara Lindeman are clear, she proves Jean-Luc Godard’s adage that it’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to. Loyalty sees the band making music that emerges from a rich past, through an exciting, experimental present, into an as yet unwritten future.

The Weather Station - LoyaltyThe themes of the album are vague enough to become universal. Songs like the gently profound Loyalty transform inner lives into colossal, windswept landscapes, containing both stunning beauty and awe-inspiring power. Though at no times does the record ever become forceful or heavy, now and then Lindeman will drop a lyric that has enough weight behind it to genuinely stun. “Seemed to me that luxury would be to be not so ashamed” she sings on Shy Women, displaying an understated eloquence that marks her immediately as a wordsmith to watch.

Even when Lindeman’s writing is at its most linear, as on the devastating Personal Eclipse, she injects her music with a paradoxically complex simplicity that feels almost primal. In essence, though it is easy to see what Lindeman does on a song like I Mined it would be impossible to replicate. This is music that has been artfully created to appear as though it was not given a second thought: it comes to feel utterly natural, as though the melodies have been nestled inside Lindeman for years, ready only now to emerge through her voice and out into the world.

The album’s real highlight, however, is the tragic Tapes.  Coming on like heartbreak shot in slow motion, it lulls itself towards an emotive climax, as Lindeman sings “I’m older now than you ever were, or ever would become” before giving up on language entirely, finishing the songs with a series of wordless hums.

But, above all else, there is something profoundly intimate about Loyalty. Even one listen in the record comes to feel like a time weathered friend; a living, breathing work of art, ready to listen to your secrets while gently, gently divulging its own.