The new Weyes Blood record, Front Row Seat To Earth, is the folk music of the near future. Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, embeds her sublime song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, and outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course. There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato, and the ecstatic chord resolves.
Weyes Blood makes serious music, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Proof of that can be found in the final seconds of Front Row Seat to Earth, the third full-length from the oducer born Natalie Mering. A brass band breaks through the din of hazy film samples and warped classical piano with the kind of royal proclamation that declares, I’m here! -just as the soiree is ending. Oops! Or look to the album’s cover.
The vinyl quality is not good. Cleaning repeatedly may improve it- but it's a mediocre pressing at best. Mexican Summer seems to not care much about the quality of their premier products judging from the number of bad pressings I've purchased from this label. Pity- they do a disservice to their signed artists. The music is really good.
I've never actually listened to Weyes Blood, despite all the critical acclaim Titanic Rising has been getting. Front Row Seat to Earth is more folky than I imagined, but I enjoyed it more because of it. Some songs are a bit longer than they need to be though.
In this album for insane times, Mering has attained universal connectedness while allowing us into her own excruciatingly cathartic purview, no easy feat. A step toward the intimate clarity of Front Row Seat to Earth, it still didn’t foretell the use of more ambitious instrumentation on Diary, Used to Be and Do You Need My Love, embellished with brass, wire and ivory. Mering counterweights the classic touches with ambient drone here and electronic manipulation there.
Weyes Blood is Natalie Mering, who has been floating around the US counterculture for a while: singing with Ariel Pink, appearing on the unexpectedly lovely Drugdealer album earlier this year and taking a place in the acid folk collective Jackie-O Motherfucker, as well as having a solo career
That song appears midway through Weyes Blood's Front Row Seat To Earth and reflects the album's carefully calibrated mood of dystopian serenity. Growing up in Pennsylvania, Mering tried to find a place in the male-dominated local hardcore scene, but was told that her feminine softness was unwelcome. She's since found more sympathetic collaborators in Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Jackie-O M, and also dismantled that gendered bias in interviews.
|2||Used To Be||4:33|
|4||Do You Need My Love||6:25|
|6||Can't Go Home||4:40|
|9||Front Row Seat||1:55|
- Copyright (c) – Kemado Records, Inc.
- Phonographic Copyright (p) – Kemado Records, Inc.
- Artwork – Evan Howard Hill, Natalie Mering
- Bass – Kenneth Gilmore* (tracks: 2 to 4, 7)
- Drums – Booker Stardrum (tracks: 4), Chris Cohen (tracks: 1, 2, 7)
- Flute – Alex Brettin* (tracks: 7)
- Guitar – Chris Cohen (tracks: 2)
- Horns – Luke Csehak (tracks: 2)
- Layout – Rob Carmichael , Seen
- Mastered By – David Ives
- Mixed By – Kenneth Gilmore*
- Photography By – Katie Miller
- Piano – John Lindsay (tracks: 5)
- Producer – Chris Cohen, Natalie Mering
- Slide Guitar – Meg Duffy (tracks: 7)
- Synth – Michael Chadwick (tracks: 1, 4, 6), Shags Chamberlain (tracks: 2, 4, 9)
- Tambourine – Luke Csehak (tracks: 7)
- Written-By [All Songs Written By] – Natalie Mering
Notes© ℗ 2016 Kemado Records, Inc., d/b/a Mexican Summer.
Issued in a gatefold cardboard wallet. Includes a fold-out insert featuring lyrics.
Credits printed on release also list Luke Csehak as contributing horns on track 10, a bonus track not featured on this edition.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
- Barcode: 184923122824
- Matrix / Runout: MEX228-2 6745-CD-1046 16-228-01
- Mastering SID Code: IFPI LK13
|MEX 228||Weyes Blood||Front Row Seat To Earth (LP, Album, Num, Blu)||Kemado Records, Inc.||MEX 228||US||2016|
|HSE-8008||Weyes Blood||Front Row Seat To Earth (CD, Album)||Mexican Summer, Magniph Records, Hostess Entertainment Unlimited||HSE-8008||Japan||2016|
|mex228, MEX 228||Weyes Blood||Front Row Seat To Earth (LP, Album)||Mexican Summer, Mexican Summer||mex228, MEX 228||US||2016|
|MEX 228||Weyes Blood||Front Row Seat To Earth (LP, Album, Ltd, TP)||Mexican Summer||MEX 228||US||2016|
|MEX 228||Weyes Blood||Front Row Seat To Earth (CDr, Album, Promo)||Mexican Summer||MEX 228||US||2016|