|Weyes Blood — A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’ (Sept. 7, 2017)|
Weyes Blood — A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’ (Sept. 7, 2017) ↔★••→ Music for times where everyone’s connected but no one’s connecting. As it turns out, she’s following both of those up with a 7″ of two covers of songs from 1968, Soft Machine’s “A Certain Kind” and folk musician Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’,” which became a hit for Harry Nilsson a year later after serving as the theme for the film Midnight Cowboy. Mering turns the former into an expansive studio~pop opus and the latter into a slow, haunting organ dirge.
Birth name: Natalie Mering
Location: Santa Monica, CA ~ New York, New York
Genre: INDIE / ALTERNATIVE
Album release: Sept. 7th, 2017
Record Label: Mexican Summer
1. A Certain Kind 5:21
2. Everybody’s Talkin’ 4:19
By Ali Shutler on 24th February 2015
★•• A cover of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ sees the crowd straining to get a look at the source of the exquisite melancholy before set closer ‘Pure East’ ensures they will remember her name.
★•• “I stand apart from the rest,” sings Weyes Blood, the Flannery O’Connor influenced moniker of Natalie Mering, at the opening of her set. It’s the first of many truths that she delivers tonight. Singing about the inevitable loss of innocence that comes with growing older, she handles herself with poise. ‘Hang On’ layers the theatrical pomp with earthy determination while the glitching opera of ‘Some Winters’ sees Weyes Blood’s heavenly vocals reach angelic heights.
★•• Every motion she makes, whether picking up her acoustic guitar or slow~dancing around the stage, is deliberate. This poise is mirrored in her music as a blend of loops, vocals and samples huddle together forming a warm ball of light that radiates quiet charm. A broken folk rendition of her American~baiting album opener ‘Land of Broken Dreams’ is laced with powerful prose while a confident cover of Fred Neil’s ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ throws a soft light on just how compelling and unique this performance is. DIY Description:
↔★••→ Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery for the Wilde at heart, but for the Weyes mind it’s a natural note in the songbook of life. For the first recorded Weyes Blood music since her 2016 breakthrough album Front Row Seat To Earth, Natalie Mering shares A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’, a double a~side 7” of cover songs close to her home but recognizable under any roof with a hearing heart at its hearth.
↔★••→ From her DIY days self~releasing CDRs through her ascent as a defining voice of a new folk tradition, Natalie Mering has always possessed a proclivity for exceptional taste. Whether influenced by her bloodline of musicians or the cast of curious coastal characters she encountered while exploring life and sound, Mering always took special care to acknowledge the artists that shaped her music in live Weyes Blood performances.
↔★••→ A mainstay of Weyes Blood’s early years on stage, Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” as imagined by Harry Nilsson for the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack is finally memorialized on A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’. As a native Californian transplanted to the east coast, Mering identified with Neil and Nilsson’s forlorn feeling of east coast isolation and longing for days in the rays.
↔★••→ Originally recorded on distant shores from where midnight cowboys roamed the same year of 1968, Soft Machine’s “A Certain Kind” was often confused as a Weyes Blood original when Mering introduced the Robert Wyatt penned fusion ballad to her live set. A recording residency at the famed Galeria ze dos Bois (ZDB) multidisciplinary space in Lisbon, Portugal enabled Mering and her touring band to track the soul~searching rendition of the song present on A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’.
↔★••→ A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’ is not only a capsule of Mering’s care for those artists and songs that have helped define the Weyes Blood sound, but also a discovery of a different kind — the words and melodies become Mering’s and ours through her intimate interpretation and commitment to seeking culture’s fringes for deeper meaning.
↔★••→ Weyes Blood’s A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’ is available Thursday, September 7 on 7” and digital formats. ↔★••→ http://shop.mexicansummer.com/
Interview, by Matt Fink, Mar 01, 2017
↔★••→ Ten years ago, you never would have expected Natalie Mering to make an album like Front Row Seat to Earth. Back then, she was 18 years old and playing bass with noise~rockers Jackie~O Motherfucker, working on tracks that tangled witchy electronics around gothy folk as Weyes Bluhd. Despite her obvious gifts as a vocalist and arranger, there were few indications that she would eventually make one of the most gorgeously haunted, unapologetically pretty singer/songwriter albums of the last decade. Familiar yet otherworldly, it’s the rare album that inhabits its own insular universe, one that shares more in common with the leftfield cult classics of Judee Sill and Vashti Bunyan than it does with anything made in 2016.
↔★••→ “My record has a lot of comfort food, even though there is some secret medicine in the comfort food,” she explains. “People now are shamelessly ripping off ‘70s FM radio gold. I’m maybe not one to talk, because all people tell me is that I sound like I’m from the ‘70s, but I never sit in the studio and think, ‘Yeah, how can we make this more ‘70s?’ I think I’m mining for a different kind of gold. It’s not a nostalgic gold, but it ends up sounding nostalgic.”
↔★••→ Co~producing the album with former Deerhoof and Curtains member Chris Cohen, Mering set out to make a live~in~the~studio album where she could play piano with a backing band and allow all of the instruments to bleed into each other under an ethereal haze. As before, Mering’s voice is a powerfully expressive instrument, resonant and airy like Joan Baez mixed with Nico and Karen Carpenter. It has taken her until now to fully come to terms with it.
↔★••→ “I think ever since I was a little girl I had a raspy, funny voice — low and raspy and weird,” she recalls. “And everyone would make fun of me. They thought I was so funny. And in high school, I’d walk down the hallway, and I’d hear people say, ‘I heard Natalie say “hi” to someone, and I thought it was a man. And I turned around, and it was Natalie!’ People would give me shit for having a low voice. But my parents are musicians, so I always was singing and my mom would be like, ‘Oh, you have a beautiful voice.’ But no one gave me special attention, ever. I was never brought into the spotlight.”
↔★••→ Despite the album’s accessibility, Mering retains her contrarian streak. Now 28, she seems uncomfortable with what she calls her generation’s retreat into safe, conventional pop music in the face of an increasingly troubling world. Her album’s title, too, is a critique of the millennial tendency to watch that world burn from a privileged distance, spectators who deceive themselves into thinking they can change the world through angry tweets. There are times Mering recognizes just how much she has in common with her generation, though. Working with the 40~year~old Cohen, those differences occasionally came into the open.
↔★••→ “There are certain millennial qualities he couldn’t relate to,” she says. “We have this tendency to accept everything. Like the Enya thing. There are all these Enya moments on the record, but, to Chris, Enya is really not cool. She’s super boring and not hip — shit his parents would listen to. To me, I was a child listening to it, so I have this nostalgic attachment that he can’t relate to. He actually didn’t like Enya,” she says with disbelief, then laughs. “But he’s from a different time, you know?” ↔★••→ http://www.undertheradarmag.com/
|Weyes Blood — A Certain Kind b/w Everybody’s Talkin’ (Sept. 7, 2017)|