Saturday, October 11, 2014

Angels Woman...Weyes Blood

The Woman

— from New York —

Weyes Blood

*Highly, highly. . .

Just now, I googled “1960s witchy psychedelic folk,” grasping, I guess, for a manageable term that encapsulates both Nico’s glamourous theatrics and Brigitte Fontaine’s quirky darkness. I’m sitting at a table in the pool-house out back of a big and beautiful summer home on the coast of Maine, where I’ve been hired as a kind of temporary live-in servant. I shit you not. I’ve got a view of the Atlantic from nearly point blank range, and the moon is new, and all things witchy seem more than possible tonight.
Natural beauty this acute makes any little thing that sticks out of the landscape seem intentionally sinister, like the pale pink dismembered crab torso I saw ripped open and splayed out on a rock while I was on the beach this evening waiting for the moon to rise. The music of Weyes Blood, whose earth name is Natalie Mering, is sort of like that–so beautiful that its oddness makes that beauty spooky, and so strange that its classical loveliness gleams even brighter.
Mering has been under the radar for a couple of years, but that doesn’t mean she’s stayed quiet. After a stint with experimental psych folk outfit Jackie-O Motherfucker, she sang backup vocals for Ariel Pink, and has since performed prodigiously as a solo artist – touring, appearing at festivals, and playing shows of her own with friends like Quilt and The Entrance Band‘s Guy Blakeslee.
In 2011, Mering released The Outside Room, her debut under the Weyes Blood name, onNot Not Fun. Already then, her basic toolkit (haunting vocals, ancient-sounding folk music) was essentially intact, although The Innocents reveals some significant updates. Less funereal but more complicated, Weyes Blood substitutes her first album’s foundation of abject misery for one of classical–even courtly–dignity. Harmonizing against herself, Mering’s vocals take on an entirely new, much richer quality on The Innocents, almost like putting on 3D glasses. But that isn’t to say that melancholy has no place on the album: when Weyes Blood tells you, in the middle of the strange, sad, choral “Some Winters” that “I’m as broken as woman can be,” you believe her. That’s the kind of voice she’s got, low and regal and primed for heartbreak. The finery of that song has a cracked-china feel to it, stemming from its psychedelic tendencies. Static and interference marr dreamy piano arpeggios. The angelic chorus of ahhs hovering around Mering’s tortured alto like a halo slowly melts into a mechanized humming that sounds like the low buzz of an airplane engine. When the song has sentimental moments, something cold and sterile always follows.
If, like me, you’re listening to Weyes Blood someplace wild and desolate, The Innocentsintensifies things. It is sparse and spooky. It makes it easy to suspend your disbelief and get swept along with Mering’s moonlit, forlorn reality.
The Innocents won’t be out in the U.S. until Oct 21st, but you can pre-order your physical or digital copy by heading on over to Mexican Summer. In the meantime, check out “Hang On,” the album’s power-driven first single. “I will hang on when the rains come and wash away all I’ve come from,” Mering sings, holding the melody steady as the rest of the song careens through chord progressions and time signatures.   The song is sturdy at its core, her voice a pillar of strength in the center of an embellished, rhythmically complex track. She plays Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on Friday, August 22nd.
Porta's Rating
10 of 10

*Porta's favourite!*

Folk, haunting, antique, futuristic, austere, experimental !

Weyes Blood answer the Questions of Doom

Something's happening in Philly. Something kinda odd and spooky. It's like music got good again, or something. Weyes Blood are straight outta philly. My god. I'm just listening to their Not Not Fun debut (gotta say, I don't hoard music, and only buy 'the good stuff'), and its unsettling music - lead by the tone of Natalie, against a Harry Partch-work southern gothic machination, it combines together to make something unearthly, new and yet grounded music. In this day and age of empty headed trends and 'pretty good mp3s', the fact Weyes Blood has unleashed a perfect authentic album is, in itself, startling...

What are the secret origins of Weyes Blood?

Weyes Blood is an open book, but if you insist there are secret origins I'm sure there certainly are, behind the curtains.

Weyes Blood. Is that really 'Wise Blood' in disguise? Are you under the influence of Flannery O'Connor?

Weyes Blood is a misfangled version of Wise Blood. I have been under the influence of Flannery O'Connor and other gothic southern writers, Yes.

You recently were handpicked to play with Quilt? What is happening in Philly? Do you feel its come to represent at the musical party?

Philly has its own special musk--there's definitely been something in the air there for quite sometime, the atmosphere of Pennsylvania is pretty humid and accumulative, Gettysburg is a suction cup for ghosts and I think it some ways Philadelphia has a similar historical population--and this is reflected in lots of its music, there's some out-of-time/otherworldliness about it. I can't tell you whats happening there exactly as I don't live there.

Your sound has an almost clockwork, Harry Partch like texture with it? Was that intentional?

Most definitely, I have always been very inspired by Partch's music,and used to approach it more like he did, building instruments and composing with made up tunings and scales. He had a very big influence on me...I thought he was the cream of all the composers, in some ways. Then I discovered standard tuning and Olivier Messiaen.

You have a very unique voice like Catherine Riberio - almost -guttural, emotional and very soulful, what do you feel are your vocal influences?

Catherine Ribeiro is definitely one of them, the first time I heard her music it really floored me. One of my recent favorites is Bryan Ferry, for his vibrato and his atemporal influences. Stevie Wonder has a real gushing quality to his vibrato, his voice is healing, probably one of my favorite singers of all time. I like the way people
used to sing in the first half of the 20th century, it just sounded like buttery gold pouring out of their lips. I love rockabilly, real oldies, and early soul. The vocals in that music have a quivering/unhinged quality thats so moving I can feel them in my chest. I really crave that quality in recent vocalists--it seems soul in the mainstream is now considered this over stylized weird growling thing where people don't even sound like their speaking voice, some people can do it really well while others sound ridiculous trying to emulate it. You can hear when vibrato is natural, when somebody's
voice is using them and not the other way around.

Your video for Candy Boy is kinda creepy. Is that intentional? Its like they are VHS Tapes, that were rescued from the Goodwill, bough ton spec, and released as your video. What was your aesthetic for the

The creepiness of the video is only as intentional as you think it is. I made the video using an over the shoulder vas video camera, in a really strange beach in Maryland with a small crew of close friends. The entire area is surrounded by a heavy swamp zone that's known for strange gaseous/light phenomenons, we all got eaten alive by massive
insects upon our arrival, some of us were bleeding. The symbols can be broken down into: the white death, the black knight, and the golden mirror. The song is about falling in love with somebody you know you're not supposed to, and all the archetypes that draw you into those situations, the torment and mystery of attraction. Candy boy is
literally a boy that's sweet but lacks the real nutritive forces of sustenance, can make you sick if you eat too much. The flashes of "father" and "son" in the cloth floating in the water represent the of female relationships with men that create vortexes of strange energy--sometimes a man can feel like a father which can be oppressive, sometimes a woman feels like their mother which can be draining. The white death is symbolic of the flesh, and sex, the things that may keep you in bondage to your poisonous lover. The black knight represents some subconscious savior, internal forces that protect you from being enslaved. The golden mirror is neutral, the reflective force that exposes the pattern of self.

What do you feel your perfect aesthetic and manifesto for Weyes Blood?

I try not to think of it too much. Only record to record. If I had a map of the entire unfoldment I'm sure I could come up with more aesthetic terms to describe what my music means, but I'd prefer for it to stand for itself and fall into its place overtime. I also don't think manifesto and aesthetic should be considered the same thing--they are different and can be wholly independent of one another. Substance in an artists message certainly trumps their aesthetic for me. Certainly having a look and style about you is unavoidable, as we all make aesthetic decisions, but the manipulative
use of aesthetics in advertising makes them untrustworthy in my mind, and an unappealing place to start when describing yourself. I could be misinterpreting what you're implying with that word---that word is loaded.

Are you writing songs for your follow up to the NNF debut?

Yes, finishing up the second record now.

What do you feel the greatest misconception of your work has to be?

That I'm trying to sound like some other female musician who already exists.

What is the difference between Weyes Blood live, and Weyes Blood on record - do you have trouble recreating the fantastic sounds of record, in a live setting?

Live can actually be more rewarding, I feel more the opposite conundrum of not being able to capture the soul escaping as it does when you're live and vulnerable in front of audiences on recordings. I sing the best when I'm in front of certain crowds or people, it can draw out my voice in ways that exceed my understanding or control of it. There's such an overabundance of recorded music these days that the process becomes so tight lipped. There's so much effort that goes into making sure its "worth it", not exhibiting any recent trends of disposability. Thinking too hard can thwart the process of soul escaping. Its a fine balance.

Who should we be listening too? 

RUSSIAN TSARLAG, true genius of our times.

Credit: gimmebadvibes

*Porta's favourite!*

The singer-songwriter Natalie Mering, also known as Weyes Blood♡ : )
Natalie Weyes Blood (Weyes Bluhd) has existed in the grime-ghost fringe-music catacombs since at least 2006, starting as a conventional folk singer in an unamplified universe, then transforming into a more a crouched/hieroglyphic electronic chasm style, culminating in a European tour with Axolotl. After two seasons of hibernation and a relocation to Baltimore, she materialized her ‘Blood In Bluhd Out’ evolution and began writing/playing the darkly haunted narcotic drifter ballads that make up The Outside Room, her first official full-length. The entire album was recorded, mixed and produced by Mering herself, then mastered by good friend Graham Lambkin. The record has shadows of The Shadow Ring in the oddly creaking ambient sounds and stark, nuanced production, which lend the eerily beautiful neo-Nico death-folk laments a more modern, art-skewed sheen. There’s still echoes of her old drone/tape-ghost-clouds moods on tracks like “In The Isle Of Agnitio” and the long, bells-laden outro to “Romneydale,” but the bulk of the LP is swooning and sweeping, with Natalie’s gorgeous, quasi-Teutonic vox leading the way. A subtly mesmerizing long-player, very “out of time,” and strangely untouched by contempo influences.
For Press, Booking or any other inquiries please email: absurdisthewordthatyouheard at g mail dot com.

"My personal
favorite artist!"


“Beautiful Mysterious!”

the portastylistic

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