Weyes Blood
And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matty USER (36 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2022 | 49 replies


Release Date: 11/18/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mercy Is the Only Cure for Being So Lonely

Velvety melancholy seems to epitomize the instrumental soundscape and lyrical focus of Weyes Blood’s newest record “And in The Darkness, Hearts Aglow.” Flush with massive swells of electronic ambience, choral upswings and a loosely knit concept, Blood’s record weaves in and out of the dramatics of a pandemic-torn world with signs of relief that things are beginning to return to normality whilst mourning broken love and tiresome male dominance which continue to reign even with a clear shifting landscape of equality and tolerance.

The elegiac “The Worst is Done” documents her forced seclusion with a raging virus sweeping across the world and how the world and herself have changed given these circumstances. Each passing melody moodier than the next, the instrumentals quiet yet enchanting and Blood’s vocals yearning for a second chance to do things differently now that she’s grown, and her perspective has changed.

“I should've stayed with my family,
I shouldn't have stayed in my little place,
In the world's loneliest city,
We're not meant to be our own angels all the time,
No one coming by to see if you're alive”

Truly a mournful track with hints of hope. The idea of being able to emerge from our cocoons back into society only to be awestruck with how tumultuous the landscape is politically and socially is such a haunting reality that many don’t seem to want to talk about. The hope that things are ‘back-to-normal’ is unrealistic because we are now forever changed, people as a species are now changed, hardened, less empathetic of creatures. Here we are, getting ready to kill each other at Wal-Mart for Tv’s and Ps5’s.

“Grapevine” scopes out an abusive, dominant male in a relationship with a complex, lush instrumental backdrop to convey these thoughts. Seemingly still besotted somewhat with this mysterious manly man, Blood recounts being together around a campfire, thinking of him at night even though his personality reflects an individual caught up in his own narcissistic tendencies. Blood eventually concludes that the relationship was a passing fling whereas smitten as she was with this man, he’s simple a passerby now and distant afterthought.

“Shining across the freeway late at night,
Start to drift over the line,
And it hits me for the first time,
Now we're just two cars passing by”

“God Turn Me into a Flower” also explores male narcissism with a sort-of retelling of the myth of Narcissus who becomes obsessed with his own reflection leading to him starving and dissociating himself with anything outside of that reflection, eventually being turned into a flower by God. The highlight of this song is the instrumentation which delivers heavenly and serene moody melodies coupled with Blood’s distinct gloomy/elegant delivery. The concept of the track is interesting enough and well-intentioned, but the lyrics seemingly only reiterate the myth without offering personal attachment unless there are metaphors weaved within the lines that evade me.

Weyes Blood is a phenomenal vocalist with a healthy range and unique combination of pungent lyricism yet a subtle delivery style sticking more to a mid-range rather than exploring belting techniques or whisper singing. I wasn’t initially impressed with the timbre however with repeated listens, I began to become infatuated with how naturally composed and graceful her approach was. It reminded me too much of other voices but the subtlety that flickers with desperation and melancholy really drew me in and made me appreciate these songs a bit more than my initial run-through.

Overall, this record finds its stride quickly, not deviating very far from its formula of gorgeous swells of instrumentation and moody vocals. The choral chants add nice dramatic flairs to soaring melodies. The drenched reverb effect on Blood’s vocals reminds me a bit of Ethel Cain if Ethel Cain had a more similar vocal style to Florence Welsh. The variety of instrumentals adds unique flairs to perhaps more stale songs in terms of structure and flow. The quiet pianos that flow smoothly through the closing track, the poignant staccato and pop-sensible beats of the track “Twin Flame,” both add a bit of diversity and depth to a very mid-paced array of tunes. Perhaps a bit more variety would have served the project well, but I’m inclined to view this as a very personal piece of art meant to document emotion during a turbulent period. Naturally, many of these emotions are negative, sad and desperate so softer nuanced approaches to soundscape would serve these more potently that rave bops and sultry smoky songs. It’s certainly a captivating listen and one I look forward to revisiting repeatedly.



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user ratings (94)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
mkmusic1995
November 22nd 2022


603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been having a bit of writer's block recently so hopefully this gets me back in the swing of things

Willie
Moderator
November 22nd 2022


20133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd say this is a good review. I checked this out a few days back, but couldn't get into it. I was hoping for something similar to Marissa Nadler, but it didn't quite get there for me.

mkmusic1995
November 22nd 2022


603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think I've listened to Marissa Nadler before, so I'll have to check her out!

DDDeftoneDDD
November 22nd 2022


20856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not as memorable as the previous one but def still a winner imo

Willie
Moderator
November 22nd 2022


20133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Little Hells seems to be the consensus favorite. I'm partial to The Sister, though.

JohnZapp
November 22nd 2022


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think It's Not Just Me... and Grapevine are the weak ones for me ironically with them being the two lead singles. But yea this is a beautiful record through and through. The only knock I have is that it doesn't have peaks that Titanic Rising gave me. I would say it's just consistently beautiful, but there isn't a particular moment where I'm like "OOOOO I gotta put that on repeat." Movies was that moment for me on TR

mkmusic1995
November 22nd 2022


603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

-Little Hells seems to be the consensus favorite. I'm partial to The Sister, though-



Thank you for the suggestions, I will definitely check those!



-The only knock I have is that it doesn't have peaks that Titanic Rising gave me-



This is actually my first experience with Weyes Blood but this definitely has me looking forward to going back in her discography.

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2022


4444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty solid in its own right, but I've been disappointed with it so far compared to Titanic Rising. The Worst Is Done is the only song which matches up to the plentiful highlights on that album, although maybe others will grow on me.

mkmusic1995
November 22nd 2022


603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, thank you for the feature. Incredibly kind.

Friday13th
November 22nd 2022


7610 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really enjoy it, but it is not as good as Titanic Rising overall. God Turn Me Into a Flower and the Worst Is Done are comparable in quality though. "Twin Flame" sounds a bit too much like a Cocteau Twins song on Blue Bell Knoll or Heaven or Las Vegas, the hooks on every song which made Titanic Rising a modern classic are missing.

Faraudo
November 22nd 2022


4189 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I would catch a bullet for Natalie tbh

anat
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2022


5011 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

twin flame is the best cut from this for me, grapevine and final two songs are a bit of a miss

Lichtbringer
November 23rd 2022


860 Comments


i'm guessing you're aware "blood" is not the artist's last name. still, it reads pretty dumb.

DoofDoof
November 23rd 2022


12274 Comments


'Twin Flame' is the song here that has grown on me a lot - reminds me of Eleanor Frieberger's last album 'Rebound' a bit.

Do a whole album of this style next time please Weyes Blood.

markjamie
November 23rd 2022


283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Twin Flame is the biggest grower indeed. Also, the opener has become one of my favourites after I was initially very underwhelmed when it was released as the first single.

This has the potential to age very well.

fogza
Contributing Reviewer
November 23rd 2022


6681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"Do a whole album of this style next time"



Yep, I think it's one of the few times I've listened to something from WB and felt it had some sort of personality, i'd back her doing this style

DDDeftoneDDD
November 23rd 2022


20856 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WTF grapevine is awesome lol specially how it goes further in the track

LunaticSoul
November 23rd 2022


2241 Comments


I would say there is nothing on the levels of "Wild Time", so I am kinda disappointed. It drifts in the background too easily, as it happened for her disc prior to Titanic rising.

nash1311
November 23rd 2022


5218 Comments


Gave this a shot and it too didn’t do much for me. I wanted to like it though. Seems it’s being well received

mkmusic1995
November 23rd 2022


603 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

-i'm guessing you're aware "blood" is not the artist's last name. still, it reads pretty dumb.-



Thank you



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