Next Door Records/Fat Possum
The Weather Station
On their previous four albums, The Weather Station traveled a familiar stylistic route, that of soft indie-folk music rife with indulgent guitars and subtle rhythms. With their fifth and latest album, Ignorance, the Canadian folk band takes the offramp into the suburban landscape of cool jazz flavored with pop aromas.
Piloted by singer Tamara Lindeman, Ignorance delivers sophisticated, yet compact rhythms topped by frissons of flute and saxophone, along with radiant, sparkling piano textures. The result projects gleaming hues at once voluptuous and passionately alluring.
As Lindeman says, “I used to be an actor, now I’m a performer.” And boy howdy, what a performer. Ignorance had its genesis in rhythm, linear rhythmic tempos, simple and solid. Once Lindeman grabbed hold of the concept of concrete rhythm, her musical palette expanded.
She explains, “I saw how the less emotion there was in the rhythm, the more room there was for emotion in the rest of the music, the more freedom I had vocally.”
Rather than writing on guitar, Lindeman wrote on the piano, fleshing out the melodies prior to bringing in the band, made up of Kieran Adams, Ben Whiteley (bass), and Philippe Melanson (percussion), along with Brodie West (saxophone), Ryan Drive (flute), Johnny Spence (keyboards), and Christine Bougie (guitar).
Comprising 10-tracks, Ignorance starts off with “Robber,” opening on smoldering colors riding a tasty jazz polyrhythm. Swanky piano accents inject the tune with low-slung visceral accents, simmering and suggestive. Lindeman’s seductive Sade-like tones imbue the lyrics with nuanced sonic allusions. A wavering saxophone colors the solo section with cool, trembling savors.
Highlights on the album include “Tried To Tell You,” featuring a thrumming driving pulse flavored with alt-pop and SoCal soft rock tangs as Lindeman’s husky, crystalline voice infuses the lyrics with timbres reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, blooming with luxuriant tones.
“Parking Lot” conjures up memories of Jackson Browne, rolling out on low-slung, creamy, shimmering disco-tinted pigments. Exuding breathless dewy ambiance, Lindeman’s voice teems with exquisite lilting energy, delicate and suffused with aching filaments.
Clicking metronomes announce “Separated,” followed by sweeping washes of glistening sonic layers. On this track, Lindman’s tones assume affluent whispery tones, giving the lyrics a mist of urgency. An elegant piano introduces “Trust.” Lindeman’s cashmere, forlorn voice drips with dulcet, shushed timbres, infusing the tune with ghostly auras.
The closing track, “Subdivisions,” showcases a glinting piano atop a crisp, ambling rhythm. Shaded by hints of jazz, the bray of the Wurlitzer steeps the melody in quavering tendrils, while Lindeman’s graceful voice immerses the lyrics in the elusive dust of sad memories.
Compelling, imminent, and overwhelmingly ineffable, Ignorance goes beyond excellent and enters the rarified realm of the superlative.
Pre-order Ignorance by The Weather Station HERE