2019 – Art Pop, Rock
Titanic Rising is your ticket to great under water experience
While almost all the musicians around the world were trying to reach more success with a generic and popular sound, Natalie Mering was focused in put her own sound out. Adopting Weyes Blood as her artistic name that was inspired by Flannery O’Connor’s romance, Wise Blood, Mering always has a foot on the alternative sound. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Natalie always had music present in her life. The influences that her father and brothers, that also are in the music industry, are undeniable. In 2011, Natalia released her first album, The Out Side Room, as an independent artist. After that, in 2014 and 2016, Mering released her second and third album. Now, in 2019, Natalie, with a new record company, the Sub Pop, return with Titanic Rising, her master-piece.
Titanic Rising, in all the aspects, is a great album. Since the instruments that mix with timeless sound from different times, to the lyrical content and vocal delivery. The fourth studio album by Mering is cohesive, is an album that has created a narrative arch since the first track, and with all the “Hero Journey” aspects, finishes it in the end of the album.
With a huge kick at the door, “A Lot’s Gonna Change” is the first track of the album. With a really dark and heavy piano at the beginning, that transitions to a purer and lighter version of the same instrument, that symbolizes change from a darker period, Natalie talks about ripening. While all the instruments are built up in the back softly, she opens a letter about the life before the fame and how she is missing this. It’s amazing how she can reach and keep up with specific vocal notes in contrast with the mixer of classic sound and 70/80’s electronic sound.
While we have assurance in the first track, the second one, Andromeda, that references to the Andromeda Galaxy, has this uncertainty feeling about everything. The confused instrument at the start of the song that is like a prologue of this teenage book by a more mature point of perspective. This book, by the way, tells the story of a girl that is so focused on the bad side of the life, always thinking about the impossible in a negative way, that she got lost in the life and now, no one can save her because she is not easy to deal with. However, like a fairy tale, in the end she finally surrenders to love. But, this “happy ending” will last?
The first thing that I think when I listen to “Everyday” is the creepy music video. Even this project was supposed to be strange, the bad act and emotion-less faces is something that stays. However, this song is really contrasted: It starts with a dark piano, then it becomes light and, in the chorus, we have those marked beats that are followed by Weyes’s singing “oh ooh oooh” that sounds more like a set of various people. Finally, in the end, all the instruments that were played in the song come together to play in a beautiful Disney-like orchestra crumbling into haunting and out of tune voices. Basic, this song is about how bad love has been, but now, she will surrender to it.
“Something to Believe” is a beautiful open letter about the rough moments. In this poem, Natalie talks about the depression and how superficial the modern relations are, and how this thing, as a whole, made she just wait for the death. Even having basic piano and guitar in the back, this track has something really special, but even after some many listening to it, I still can’t discover what is.
The highest moment in the album is the fifth track, Titanic Rising. For me, this track is the moment when the water surpasses our heads and make us go deeper and deeper in this atmosphere and experience of the Titanic Rising. It’s like If the first four track we were in a room that was being filled with water, and in this track, with this instrumental track with vibrations and chords and synthesizers from places beyond. After this track, certainly the songs will be harder and deeper.
Even not liking to much of the tracks after “Titanic Rising”, “Movies” is an exception. I want to put the voice power of Natalie in the spotlight right now, damn! This girl knows how to sing. Her voice got this darker vibe while she speaks about how the movies are making our lives graceless. Also, it’s amazing the transition from these 80’s video game sound that constantly come and go to the piano and violin version of the same sound.
After this track, everything good that was built, starts to fall. In “Mirror Forever” with vibrating synthesizers, she speaks about a love that doesn’t make no sense anymore and how this insistence is detrimental. Moving to “Wild Time”, the mainly subject is how the society as a whole became toxic, and how the things that collaborated for this passed unnoticed. In this political complaint, Natalie sings in a such special way.
“Picture Me Better” that initially sounds like a beautiful and romantic waltz’s song from the old movies, is in fact, a song about the suicide of a Natalie’s friend. This track is an amazing and emotional letter telling how is the life after his passage. And to finish everything, “Nearer to Thee”, an instrumental track that sums up the whole sound of the album, but more frighteningly, as if it were something from a horror movie or an opera play.
In the end, Titanic Rising is a great album, even not being a fan of the last tracks, I really admit that they are amazing in their own way. This project is cohesive, with a great atmosphere that results in an incredible experience. Natalia, undeniable made a good job with the record.