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Baker's Dozen

Sleeper Hits: Weyes Blood’s Baker’s Dozen
Alex Rigotti , November 23rd, 2022 10:04

Weyes Blood speaks to Alex Rigotti about the thirteen albums that influenced her the most, from Robert Wyatt and Syd Barrett to Ween and XTC

Photo by Neil Krug

How does one find hope in a world of increasing political, environmental, and social disarray? This is the question Weyes Blood (real name Natalie Mering) continues to probe on her latest release, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow.

The 34-year-old has nomadically roamed America being a musician for over 17 years, starting out in noise rock outfits Jackie-O Motherfucker and Satanized, then as a solo artist blending 1960s classic arrangements with grand, orchestral flourishes and deeply introspective writing. It all culminated with 2019’s Titanic Rising, which saw fans and critics alike praising Mering for its narrative ambition, sonic lushness, and her rich, graceful vocal performance.

Soon afterwards, she realised there was more to the story. “I finished Titanic Rising and I had to start the next one so fast, but I felt it was more of a continuation,” Mering recalls. “I wanted to do a big departure after Titanic, but it’s not the time to make a crazy, upbeat pop record. We’re all going so internal. I just felt like it was the middle piece in the whole story.” The result is And In The Darkness, which grapples with the idea of negentropy amidst “the disintegration of social fabric”.

Much like her own music, Mering’s music taste is expansive, emotive, at times ghostly. Her favourite albums are often connected to her family, with a penchant for the tranquil and peculiar. Though she proclaims cassette tapes to be her favourite medium for music consumption, Mering listens to music mostly in the car – a product of living in Los Angeles.

Today, she’s on the phone to guide us through her Baker’s Dozen. “I kind of function within a vacuum, but I always have a couple of things that I do listen to,” she says. There’s multiple references to ‘sleeper hits’, underdog records that Mering finds solace in and wants you to listen to. It speaks to her own musical catalogue: a little off-kilter, deceptive in its understatement, yet completely and totally addictive.

Weyes Blood’s new album And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is out now via Sub Pop. To begin reading her Baker’s Dozen click the image of her below.