December 5th, 2022

By, Jesse Jay Aguirre

After her dazzling 2019 record, Natalie Mering returns with a heart-shattering, inspiring, and overall sonically breathtaking album.

Weyes Blood – And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow


Genre: Art/ Baroque Pop | Soft Rock

Release Date: November 18th, 2022

Label: Sub Pop

Listen: Spotify | Youtube | Apple Music

After my first listen of Weyes Blood’s last record, Titanic Rising I thought to myself that there was no way that singer-songwriter, Natalie Mering, could top that sound. However, those feelings are changed with the release of her latest full length LP, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow. She has seemingly ascended her sound to an even more angelic, and majestical feel that instantly captured me during my first listen. 

The record starts with the beautifully melancholic; It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody, which was released as the first single to this album. This one sounds amazing as it starts with a simple kick and piano and evolves into this cosmic orchestra piece with a bit of magic sprinkled on top. Easily off to a great start to an album when the first song sounds that awesome. Then we lead into Children of the Empire, which sounds a bit more on the cheerful side with some sounds reminiscent of folk music. The next song, Grapevine, is a somber tune about a failed relationship with someone who lived on highway 5 hence the name “Grapevine”.  This song was also a single that was released prior to the rest of the album so I had a chance to digest this one for a while and it is easily one of her best tracks in my opinion.

We then get into the next song, which may very well be my favorite song of the entire year, that being God Turn Me Into A Flower. Before I get started, I must say this; Wow. Seriously, hats off to Natalie, and bless her soul for delivering this masterful tune to us. With this track we get not only a song, but a sonic trip to a fantasy land filled with nature and peace. Personally speaking, I haven’t quite heard a song this sensational in a very long time. It’s truly remarkable how well Natalie has mastered her voice to sound as though she is speaking from the heavens above as her humming in the second leg of this track carries the listener with her on this spiritual journey. I highly encourage anyone that listens to this track to wear headphones to have the absolute best experience. After that we return from our spiritual journey with the blissful Hearts Aglow. A song that sounds like we are sitting with Weyes Blood by the beach, as she plays the guitar by the campfire and sings along to it. Then like the previous tracks the song evolves into another majestical piece which seems to be the theme of this record as a whole. 

The second half of the record is a bit shorter as there are two filler tracks I assume are in place to create atmosphere. I’m not very crazy about the first of the two being, And in the Darkness, mainly for the reason that I find it far too short and simple. If it were up to me I would’ve probably included it at the tail end of the track preceding it because it does stick out like a sore thumb. The track Twin Flame is the closest thing to a true pop song on this entire album which is an enjoyable listen and a nice subtle change of pace. The other filler track, In Holy Flux, is a fine track. I feel like I would find this song off the soundtrack of a Blade Runner film with how ambient and cosmic it feels.  This one reminds me of Treefingers, by Radiohead, off of their album Kid A which is not a bad thing at all as I do love that track too.

The last two songs on the record feel like ballads that would be played as the Titanic is sinking. The Worst is Done is a very unnerving yet fruitful tune that has Mering detailing how much of a rough year it has been for everyone, and everyone believing the worst is done. Natalie challenges this thought because she herself believes the worst is actually yet to come. The closing track is another somber tune about love. Although it is not as grand as some of the other songs on this record I feel that it does stand strong as a good closing track to a masterful album. 

At no point, aside from a brief 14 seconds, did I feel that this record dragged at all or failed to capture me. I was engaged the entire time and I must admit on first listen some tracks left me misty eyed which is a very hard feat for a song to accomplish. I firmly believe that Weyes Blood is on another level sonically than a lot of other artists and her achievements here only cement her status as a legend in music lore. I absolutely love this record and I don’t think I can praise it enough. With all that being said I believe this album is damn near a perfect listen and you should definitely give this album a try no matter what genres you are into.

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