Self-titled and self-produced this is the most fully realised statement to date from Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman.
+ Deluxe 140g virgin vinyl LP features heavy-duty board jacket with full lyrics, full-colour inner sleeve.
On this, her fourth album as The Weather Station, Linderman unearths a vital new energy from her acclaimed song writing practice, marrying it to a bold new sense of confidence. “I wanted to make a rock and roll record,” she explains, “but one that sounded how I wanted it to sound, which of course is nothing like rock and roll.” The result is a spirited, frequently topical tour de force that declares its understated feminist politics, and its ambitious new sonic directions, from its first moments. Lindeman’s song writing has always been deconstructive, subtly undermining the monoliths of genre with her sly sense of complexity and irony. She has generally been characterised as a folk musician, and yet with its subtext of community and tradition, the term “folk” has never quite fit The Weather Station’s work; the songs are too specific and lacerating. So appropriately, Lindeman’s so-called “rock and roll record” suspiciously stares down those genre signifiers—big, buzzing guitars, thrusting drums—and interweaves horror-movie strings and her keening, Appalachian-tinged vocal melodies. On past records, Lindeman has been a master of economy. Here her precisely detailed prose-poem narratives remain as exquisitely wrought as ever, but they inhabit an idiosyncratic, sometimes disorderly, and often daring album that feels, and reads, like a collection of obliquely gut-punching short stories. After two records made in close collaboration with other musicians Lindeman self produced, taking full creative control for the first time since her debut. The band comprised touring bassist Ben Whiteley, drummer Don Kerr, and disparate guests, including Ryan Driver (Jennifer Castle), Ben Boye (Ryley Walker), and Will Kidman (The Constantines).
The cover of Loyalty memorably featured the back of Lindeman’s head. On the cover of this record, by contrast, she stares directly into the camera, insouciant in blue jeans, frozen in an artless, almost awkward pose. The Weather Station is her most direct and candid record, and the first one to include tracks one might characterise as pop songs. Throughout, the record grapples with some of the darkest material Lindeman has yet approached: it is, according to her, the first album on which she touches on her personal experiences of mental illness. And yet the gesture inherent to the record is one of unflinching embrace. By saying more than ever before, The Weather Station seeks to reveal the unnamable, the unsayable void that lies beneath language and relationships. It’s willfully messy, ardent and hungry.
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