As a teenager, Natalie Mering took her interest in music a step further from breaking down chord progressions and learning how to play the guitar. Behind her bedroom door, she invented instruments. One such melodic Frankenstein took shape as a sort of harmonic guitar, which features on her stunning fourth record, Titanic Rising.
On the cover Mering (known under the nom de plume of Weyes Blood) is drowning in a reconstruction of that childhood bedroom – her earliest studio – drenched in inspiration, curiosity and a natural instinct towards experimentation.
Following on from 2006’s apocalyptically inclined Front Row Seat To Earth, Titanic Rising is an entirely different entity which immediately exudes warmth in Mering’s Karen Carpenter-like vocals, sumptuous strings (a first for her arrangements), golden guitar sounds indebted to George Harrison’s early solo output, and the latest stroke of ingenuity from the musician called ‘Radotronics’.
Working with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado – he produced the record and invited The Lemon Twigs to play on a number of the songs – the pair developed a reel-to-reel feed inspired by Frippertronics, a technique devised by King Crimson’s Robert Fripp. You can hear the warped delay in Andromeda’s enigmatic intro.
Rooted in nostalgic tones from the 1970s, Mering merges the familiarity of the past with futurist tones (see synth arpeggios on Movies) whilst maintaining universality through her adept lyricism.
Words: Zara Hedderman
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