We can’t go on being so damn nihilistic all the time. Sure, the planet’s dying, our government has no idea what they’re doing, and everything’s expensive, but what are we going to do; sit around and complain about it? Natalie Mering, aka Weyes Blood, sits and watches the world continue to burn on her fifth album And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, but she searches for hope instead of anger throughout it.
The singer’s 2019 album Titanic Rising talked about being on the precipice of annihilation, that dark, foreboding feeling of being inundated with news about how things are going to get worse. And In The Darkness finds Mering in the thick of it all, but she’s not too demoralized. Instead, the album looks for love and meaning in the midst of chaos, hopeful that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel despite our scars. On “Twin Flame”, she sings to a lover that she found during this difficult period, taking solace in the companionship while the world crumbles.
Mering’s voice, known for its glum, Joni Mitchell-esque swoon, is as good as ever. Weyes Blood’s music has always sounded like a singer-songwriter torn from the 1970s and thrust into our bright and painful present, and here it manages to sound both classic and modern. On the jaunty “The Worst Is Done”, Mering at first sings somewhat naively about how there are brighter days ahead. As the song goes on, she admits her skepticism. “I think the worst is yet to come,” she sings. “We’re all so cracked.” Fair enough, as it’s impossible for anyone to be hopeful at all times. But therein lies the beauty of Weyes Blood’s music. It’s dark, beautiful stuff, and refreshingly honest, too.