New Weyes Blood album balances light and dark

Jack Eccleston, Staff Writer

On the cover of the album, a young woman lounges in a bedroom underwater.

“Titanic Rising,” Natalie Mering’s fourth studio album under the alias Weyes Blood, is a grandiose and sprawling depiction of the end of the world as we know it. But even in the face of disaster, Mering reminds us to smile. 

Mering started writing songs under the name Weyes Blood when she was 15 years old. The alias is derived from the novel “Wise Blood” by Flannery O’Connor.

“Titanic Rising” comes highly anticipated off the back of three extremely well-received singles, “Andromeda,” “Everyday” and “Movies.”

The album’s cover is striking and was created by sandbagging a set to the bottom of a pool. Much like the album itself, the photo feels elegant and timeless but smothering and dark at the same time.

Although “Titanic Rising” could be characterised as baroque pop, Mering draws inspiration from many different genres and artists. In Mering’s own words, “Titanic Rising” sounds something like “the Kinks meet World War II or Bob Seger meets Enya,” according to a Feb. 12 Pitchfork Magazine article.

“Andromeda,” the lead single, could be found somewhere on a Beach House or Beatles album, whereas “Everyday” is undeniably inspired by the Beach Boys.

Despite the musical inspirations that Mering leans on —the Carpenters and Brian Eno, to name a few more — they never feel like a crutch, and “Titanic Rising” has its own sound.

“Movies” is the standout track, with an atmospheric synth loop that Eno would be proud of and a crescendo that is emotional, yet mellow.

Here, Mering expresses sorrow about the way that entertainment and technology have affected romanticism with the lyrics “the meaning of life doesn’t seem to shine like that screen.”

The lyrics in “Movies,” soundtracked to lush and sweeping production reminiscent of the Golden Age of Hollywood, are some of the most beautiful on the album.

Generally in “Titanic Rising,” there is a lot to despair about the rise of technology, climate change and political buffoonery. Mering seems to think we are sinking rather than swimming.

Mering aimed to capture the “feeling of smallness most people feel when we think about the scope of the issues we’re facing,” according to a Feb. 28  Pitchfork Magazine interview.

Ultimately, however, Mering’s message is one of hope. On the track “Wild Time,” she sings that life is “running on a million people burning/ Don’t cry, it’s a wild time to be alive.”