November 26, 2022

In a letter accompanying the discharge of her newest album, Natalie Mering likens her coronary heart to “a glow stick that’s been cracked.” If that’s the case, then And Within the Darkness, Hearts Aglow — the Los Angeles musician’s fifth full-length album as Weyes Blood — appears to doc the strife of clambering via gloom armed with solely a paltry glimmer.

Weyes Blood’s earlier album, 2019’s Titanic Rising, was billed as the primary of a trilogy. Whereas its predecessor appeared to languish within the panic of an impending, unsure doom, And Within the Darkness wonders: What will we do when doom is lastly right here? In a twisted kind of kismet, that doom turned extra actual than Mering bargained for. Only one 12 months shy of Titanic Rising‘s first anniversary, COVID-19 broke out within the US. So, she bought again to work.

“I believe lots of people had been form of in denial about what was actually taking place,” Mering recounts to Consequence by Zoom. “There was a sure level within the thick of it after I was like, ‘OK, the longer term will not be what I assumed it was gonna be like.’ It was a humbling expertise. However I believe when issues get actually darkish, the perfect factor to do is focus in on the sunshine.”

Such a light-weight, And Within the Darkness appears to argue, can come from human connection — a supply Mering doesn’t take as a right. As a self-described “wandering minstrel” who’s spent nearly all of her profession to this point on the highway, her closest mates are scattered across the globe, however she’s hardly ever alone.

“I believe generally, I do know what it’s wish to really feel remoted, despite the fact that I don’t suppose that my existence is remoted, as a result of I get to be round individuals on a regular basis,” she explains. “And throughout the board with my technology, I additionally see this lack of neighborhood. With the onset of social media, communities don’t occur [as much], and you’ll form of sense that with how individuals work together with each other.”

The album’s wistful, plaintive opener “It’s Not Simply Me, It’s All people” embodies the odd alienation that may envelop you whereas in a crowd. “Oh, it’s been so lengthy since I felt actually identified,” Mering broods in her distinctly wealthy alto. In the meantime, over the singer-songwriter chug of “Grapevine,” she makes use of her penchant for vivid imagery to element a relationship on the fritz: “California’s my physique/ And your hearth runs over me.”

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