Natalie Mering’s sound has slowly evolved over the course of three albums and hook ups with Jackie-O Motherfucker and Ariel Pink. On ‘Titanic Rising’, her fourth release under the Weyes Blood moniker, the LA-based musician has drifted further away from the psych-folk and ’70s Laurel Canyon of her early years and towards soft rock.
It’s a move that sees her scoring increasingly sophisticated self-harmonisation and layers of strings that, at times, sound like they’ve been drawn from Hollywood’s Golden Age of cinema. This is particularly evident on the swirling psych-pop arrangements on The Beatles-y ‘Everyday’, on which she ponders the media myth of true love.
These swooning textures have formerly been offset by ripples of sonic dissonance but here they’re kept to a minimum: the background scraping on ‘A Lot’s Gonna Change’ and the rippling synth on ‘Movies’. A slow-burning highlight, this latter turns into Julia Holter-style experimental pop while the melancholy in her voice – which is like the rebirth of Karen Carpenter – marks a gentle sea change in the album’s mood.
Although still luxurious, the second half admits the welcome presence of downbeat shadows that conclude with the short, baroque instrumental ‘Nearer To Thee’.