Wise Blood: “Music has become my crusade”

It is simply one of the most beautiful sounds today. The American contemplates world chaos in precious fifth album. Meeting with a leading figure in modern pop music.

According to her passport, Natalie Mering is a young woman who was born in California thirty years ago and dirt. However, when listening to his albums, it is impossible to locate his elegant voice in time and space, capable of chanting madrigals with the free flow of Joni Mitchell, or his songwriting of timeless beauty, adorned with luxurious arrangements, which makes his idols green with envy.

Same paradox when you find yourself in front of this languid silhouette: With his erudition, his wisdom, his clairvoyant smile and his regal head-bearing, Weyes Blood exudes a powerful aura. It’s no wonder the entire indie scene is raving about his talents, from Beck to Lana Del Rey via Drugdealer, Father John Misty, and Ariel Pink. His fan club will grow even more after the release of his amazing fifth LP, And in the dark, hearts glow, That revealed some secrets to us.

your previous album, Titanic Rising Date 2019. When did you take the supplement?

during confinement. I had planned to shoot for another year, but Covid turned all my plans upside down. So I set out to explore avenues for the next chapter in the trilogy. the first, Titanic Rising Offer a note of what’s to come and sound the alarm about what might happen in a world that still works. At the time, some questioned the reality of climate change, while today no one doubts it.

When I started composing And in the dark, hearts glow, It all totally fell apart and we were in the aftermath. The pandemic has brought to the surface a lot of disappointment, especially with regard to the shortcomings of modernity. I didn’t want to do an album to say everything was going to be okay. I preferred to highlight the nuances of all these topics of interest to us, which are developing very quickly.

In order to recover and plan for the future, we must first understand what went wrong, and what we are going through right now, with these feelings of impending danger and uncertainty. I already have the title of the next part and I’m working on it, but I don’t want to say too much about it, otherwise it will bring me bad luck!

one of your new songs, the worst , It specifically alludes to containment. How did you get through this period of Los Angeles?

I didn’t want to join my family or take a vacation. I couldn’t rest during such a strange time, but looking back, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to go camping for two months. I was left alone to work in my small apartment, telling myself that it would only be weeks before things were back to normal. I wanted to keep the momentum from my last album and keep making new things. You have installed very basic equipment for setting up demos at home.

How do you feel about this Home studio ?

in peace. I wrote my first songs when I was 12 or 13 years old in my bedroom. Now that space is in my living room, but it’s still nostalgic and out of the way. It is a sacred place where I can play for myself, without an audience, without meeting any expectations. My method of composing has remained the same as when I started, based on improvisation and intuition.

I record myself trying different ideas and listening to them again to come up with a melody or verse. It’s like trying to catch an eclair in a bottle. I think I’ve made great progress in songwriting, because I’ve learned to say what’s on my mind without covering my words with a veil of abstractions and axioms. I’m glad I had such a clear development as an artist.

Music is a vector, moving towards a certain sublimity, with the idea of ​​height

When I was younger, I played rockin’ experimental music. I love the idea of ​​creating something so beautiful yet extreme and ugly at the same time – this marriage of opposites that forms a whole in my professional life. I think I made the right decision to give up the idea of ​​being an underground experimental artist, because in doing so I became myself.

You used the word “holy,” a term that perfectly describes your music, imbued more with spirituality than religion…

I am very interested in the music of the ancestors, in the centuries when God was a subject imposed on musicians. I feel an echo. Music is a vector, moving towards a certain sublimity, with the idea of ​​height. I try to make room for that in my songs. In our culture, it’s a concept that some might find embarrassing, but I don’t mind at all.

I was brought up in a religious family. Did you learn to sing in church?

yes. My parents played in the church band and my brothers were also obsessed with music. I have always sung and been a part of many choirs at school. This is where I discovered harmonies and all the technicalities. In addition, I recently quit smoking to prevent my voice from becoming too low. When I decided to dedicate my life to music, my parents told me it might not be a good idea, so it became my crusade.

What was the first track that gave you the impetus for this new album?

sons of empire,which I wrote at the time of recording my previous record. In the United States, the Center for Disease Control [Centres pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies] He gave a staggering number: One in four teens have had suicidal thoughts during the pandemic and are still experiencing a mental crisis. I get it, even though I’m technically a millennial, that age group is stuck in purgatory between Generations X and Z.

Then I wrote vine . In all, it took us about six months to record, interspersed with breaks. She recorded part of it at EastWest Studio 3, in Los Angeles, where the album is located Pet soundsBeach Boys designed, and I felt inspired by, this place. I also listened to Scott Walker a lot.

I wanted the sound to be very clear, with instrumentation straight out of a movie, but without the high intensity of the sound. I also went to a much smaller and cheaper studio where I could enjoy playing for hours without pressure. It is important to leave enough space for the unexpected: this is where the magic can happen.

What were you looking for in these songs?

An intimate bond that makes a song that speaks directly to us and strikes a chord with its melodies and lyrics. When words intertwine with the emotion of tools like the Rubik’s Cube, these two elements magnify each other and create a fourth dimension. I had moments of spontaneous combustion during which I could write a song in one go. Sometimes it is more far apart in time and can take months.

What did you learn from your idols?

How useful is it to be a fool. We should not over-analyze what we do. Conversely, if we don’t think enough about what we want to do, we have nothing to say. How confident or insecure should I be? There is a certain dosage that must be found in balance. I am a huge fan of Joni Mitchell, Kurt Cobain, and Leonard Cohen.

I’m also interested in the Tin Pan Alley movement, the songwriters of the ’40s, Willie Nelson, and the Nashville country sound of the ’50s. I read a lot about all of these topics and would love to understand chess. That’s what I especially love about Bob Dylan: I love the uneven side of his career.

You’re a solo artist, but you often surround yourself with other musicians – Jonathan Rado, Mary Latimore, Meg Duffy and Daniel Lopatin on your new album…

I loved working with Perfume Genius, with Blake Mills… Collaborating with Killers was a strange experience, but we got along just fine. It was great to sing with Lana Del Rey, who I’ve always admired. I saw that there was nothing calculated in her, and that everything she showed us was very real.

You collaborate with many female artists. Is there a sense of brotherhood among all of you?

Yes, and I am happy to witness this change. Today, there is nothing unusual about being a singer-songwriter. We almost wondered where all the male artists went! It’s a great reflection of what I went through when I was younger. After my first concerts, when I was 15, people told me I reminded them of Joanna Newsom, when we didn’t have much in common.

It was just their only reference on the matter at that time. We now have the privilege that men have enjoyed for so long: to have our tiniest details. With my musician friends, we try to keep in touch because it’s important to keep coming together.

And in the dark, hearts glow (Sub Pop/Modulator). Released November 18th. Concert on February 4th in Paris (Trianon).

#Wise #Blood #Music #crusade



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *