Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

Titanic Rising introduces us to a sound universe, which with its piano sound, and weird synth reminds us of old timers such as The (late) Beatles. It’s an album filled with a deepness and sincerity, that I feared the modern world had lost, but the album was indeed released in 2019 and is a strong contender for the title of best album of the year. 

A Lot’s Gonna Change is a grandiose theatrical piece – which kicks of the album with it’s obvious beauty. It tells us that we come into this world naive, and that the purity of the mind of a child is truly a gift, yet we must realize, that even though we’re facing reality, everything is going to be just fine. Learn to achieve an inner happiness. 

Andromeda is a simpler composition with some great semi-trippy synth sounds, a pungent bass and a clear acoustic guitar, which transports you to a galaxy conjured by your imagination. The music fits the lyrical universe perfectly. I must however admit, that I honestly haven’t understood the Andromeda metaphor, what should be in this “Big, wide open galaxy, nothing in it for me, except a heart, that’s lazy”. My thought is that the author, thinks she lives in the Andromeda galaxy, and there’s a heart in it – a person she loves, who she wants. Only true love can make everything else in an entire galaxy seem meaningless it’s like a love imposed existential nihilism. Unfortunately the person she loves love isn’t passionately propagated to her subconsciousness leaving her with a feeling of emptiness that encompasses her entire existence. 

In the second verse, she describes an emotional revolution, where she’s freed from the existential crisis, and chooses a new emotional trajectory. She’s giving into a unification with her guy and is freed from doubt caused by ubiquitous affections. The rest of the lyric tells what she achieves by choosing oneness, but also the vulnerable position you’re in, when you rely so deeply on a single individual. 

The cheerful song and up-beat song Everyday is super catchy, but still contains a melancholic undertone. It’s driven mainly by the piano and the bass. The lyrics are about love, and the underlying theme is similar to the previous, that many years of bad love and lovers, where she’s been sailing off on ships to nowhere (relationships not leading to anything) are years of bad love, and that she want’s true love. However, then she meets a pathetic guy at a party, and she feels empathetic with him – and she ends up being with this guy, my guess is that this is also a ship to nowhere.   

After Everyday we’re presented with Something To Believe. A beautiful ballade, that describes the author’s reoccurring feeling of “the empties”, an existential nihilism. She just wants something bigger than herself. Natalie Merings vocal fits the music astonishingly well. I think they’re beautiful yet she’s not a very skilled vocalist, but she sings with a sincerity, and clarity that goes straight to the heart. (My stepmothers first reaction was “She used to be a man right?”, well I don’t know where she got that from, but Natalie does have a deeper female vocal. Check out this this live performance :

It’s just a piano (which plays the song with a few erros) and a shy-ish singer with red cheeks, who doesn’t hit all the notes, but it’s brilliant.  

I can spend a lot of time on describing this album, yet Weyes Blood’s music in general is described by Natalie Mering herself as “When I record, I think about sacred space and I think about what would be the sound of your soul if there is music coming out of it. It would probably be an echoey, strange chamber” [1]

The title song “Titanic Rising” is a short piece, that sounds like being underwater and makes you feel like you’re moving around weightless in the dark.  

Currently the song “Movies” is the third most popular Weyes Blood track on Spotify. I think it’s strange, but it makes me delighted as it is the track on Titanic Rising, which reminds me most of the music I currently make myself, with a keyboard exploring a scale or an arpeggio, and the melody building on top of it. Even though it’s more in line with what I would make myself, it’s my least favorite song on the record, and I don’t really understand, why it is so popular. The musical structure, the complex lyrical theme in combination makes this song more of a piece of art, than a nice song to listen to in my opinion.

Do you have a different opinion of Movies?

Mirror Forever has a depressed vibe, that really speaks to me. Natalie’s sad, soft and fragile vocals are accompanied by a steady bass and a gunshot-like snare sound. Simple sounds – great harmonies, and amazing poetry – that describes the uncertainty present while looking into each other in a relationship. We can clearly see what our loved ones must be thinking, but they can’t see it themselves. One of my absolute favorites on the album.  

Wild Time is a nice calm piece, with a great chorus, but nothing extraordinary about it – until we reach the end of the song, and it takes a turn back into the depressed vibe where Titanic Rising really shines. It’s the perfect bridge to Picture Me Better. A song for guitar and vocals so calm and simple – but still with so much energy. I love how the persona describes a love and a fascination of another human being from the perspective of a broken heart, but with a respect and appreciation for the other person shining through.  

I love how the lyrical universe focuses on deep existential questions. If you like the sound of the 60’s and 70’s, and feel like going on an emotional journey this is definitely an album for you.