Weyes Blood, Wei Zhongle, Deadbeat | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Weyes Blood, Wei Zhongle, Deadbeat Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Mon., Oct. 31, 9 p.m. 2016

On her shimmering new album Front Row Seat to Earth (Mexican Summer) Philadelphia chanteuse Natalie Mering, who performs as Weyes Blood, achieves a new level of grace, pushing her once folk-rooted sound toward the heavens. Her lovely voice has never sounded more powerful and precise, and with an assist from coproducer Chris Cohen (ex-Deerhoof, Cryptacize) her songs now convey a honeyed pop sheen, the austerity of her earlier work replaced here and there by a soaring sense of grandeur—for instance, “Used to Be” seems to imagine Karen Carpenter fronting a 60s girl group. There’s still a chronic feeling of doom, but it’s belied by the record’s loveliness, and Mering’s lyrics often suggest that she’s made peace with a disintegrating world. In “Generation Why” she sings “It’s not the past that scares me / Now what a great future this is gonna be”—though even that assertion is undercut by an air of uncertainty. Front Row Seat is a strong effort that takes its time asserting its full control, its darkness taking root only after its ethereal beauty has mesmerized the listener.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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