Natalie Mering seems to smile in the face of disaster. Titanic Rising, her latest record as Weyes Blood, confronts the horrible facets of life in the 21st century with the lush and strangely apocalyptic folk with only one mission: “I want to make sure everybody feels like they deserve to be alive,” Mering shared in a recent interview with Pitchfork.
Mering fittingly opens the record with “A Lot’s Gonna Change,” a swooping orchestral piece reminding the listener that things may be bad, but in the end, everything will be okay. “A lot’s gonna change / In your lifetime / Try to leave it all behind / In your lifetime,” comforts Mering. This theme runs along the entirety of the record as Mering searches for salvation and hope in a dystopian world.
“Everyday” finds the native Californian overflowing with the desire to find true love. In a world where the lines of love are blurred, Mering cries out “I need love every day” as the towering arrangement comes to its limit in a dramatic whirlwind of horns and rushing guitars.
The majority of the songs that make up Titanic Rising feel like an entirely new Weyes Blood. In “Movies,” there is a return to form, however, to a sound more familiar to the work on her earlier work on Front Row Seat To Earth. A more ethereal and atmospheric sound wraps Mering’s voice as she seems to be speaking from the depths of the ocean. Sharing her love for movies, she laments at the influence that today’s movies have on our thoughts but rejoices at the idea of the endless possibility that films present.
In a sweet and tender note, “Picture Me Better” finds Mering mourning a lost love as she longs for a reunion, “It’s time, since you left I’ve grown so much / If I could have seen you just once more / Tell you how much you’re adored / There’s no point turning more.”
In closing the record, “Nearer to Thee” comes full-circle as it borrows the strings of the album’s opener, “A Lot’s Gonna Change” and alludes to “Nearer My God To Thee,” the song the house band of the Titanic played as they went down. These bookends of the record carry the same sense of hope in the face of doom as Mering searches with arms and eyes wide open. And just like the band on the Titanic, she seems to know that we too will be nearer to God in the end as we sooner or later will all go down.