[Album Review] The Weather Station- The Weather Station
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Release Date: October 6th, 2017
Label: Outside Music

The first few words uttered on The Weather Station’s latest record are almost a perfect summation of what’s to come: “You told me that the one thing I was missing – I didn’t know that I was free”. On a record that sees The Weather Station (and singer/guitarist Tamara Lindeman) present herself as both strong and vulnerable at the same time, this poignant line seems to allude to discovering your own power, your own voice, and letting it stand on its own.

This self-titled record is the band’s fourth, and sonically, it’s arguably the band’s most fleshed out record – Lindeman is joined by a full band this time. In the album’s press release, she describes it as a rock and roll record, “but one that sounded how I wanted it to sound, which of course is nothing like rock and roll.” Where her previous records, including the critically acclaimed Loyalty, were exercises in quiet fingerpicking and introspective lyrics, this record sees the band toy with a newfound sense of urgency and poignancy. It’s most apparent on songs like “Thirty”, where the second verse sounds like Lindeman is rushing to get all of her thoughts out at once. The song seems to speed up and slow down, matching the timbre and cadence of Lindeman’s emotive delivery really well. That’s really just one example of how the full band dynamic seems to be fleshing out the songs a bit more.

I think that one of the defining features of an album from The Weather Station is definitively Lindeman’s storytelling. In some ways, her lyrics are so intricate, so detailed and so narrative-heavy that they could almost be short stories. This is apparent on this record as well, where the themes seem to stretch across both the seemingly political (“Complicit”) as well as intensely personal (“The Most Dangerous Thing About You”). Her metaphors and imagery are often heavily nature-focused, like on “Black Flies”, and there are few songwriters who can communicate so much emotion about the uncertainty rampant in human relationships (“You and I (On the Other Side of the World)”). Her line about her love being the heaviest thing, on “Kept It All To Myself” is as devastating as it is beautiful.