Natalie Mering (a.k.a. Weyes Blood) has announced a new album, The Innocents, to follow up 2013’s wonderful The Outside Room, her full-length solo debut. It will be released by Mexican Summer on October 21. Mering has also shared the album’s first single, “Hang On,” which you can hear below.
Some have likened Weyes Blood’s style to Nico’s The Marble Index trilogy, but despite sharing a certain otherworldliness, if anything Mering’s interest in Medieval songs recalls British folk singers of the 70s, like Anne Briggs or Norma Waterson. While her first album leaned more heavily on tape effects and electronic textures — bringing Grouper or Broadcast’s more ethereal tracks to mind — “Hang On” hints at a push toward a fuller-band sound, interestingly moving her even closer to Pentangle — albeit with a rockier foundation. This affinity had first been showcased in Mering’s live covers of “Everybody’s Talking” and Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry.” Mering’s original lyrics deserve to be noticed just the same, filled with bare-bones images that bypass metaphorical elaboration to elicit the strongest emotional response. No wonder her band’s name honors Flannery O’Connor, or that The Innocents’ title references a 1961 film adaptation of Henry James The Turn of the Screw.
Natalie Mering started Weyes Blood in 2007 (known as Weyes Bluhd then) after stints with Jackie-O Motherfucker and Axolotl, switching over to the current moniker in time for her first LP’s release, The Outside Room, which came out in 2013 through Not Not Fun. Mering will be touring the US in September, opening for Sun Araw and making sure our interest remains piqued all the way up to The Innocents’ release date.
The Innocents tracklisting:
01. Land of Broken Dreams
02. Hang On
03. Some Winters
05. Requiem for Forgiveness
07. Bad Magic
08. February Skies
10. Bound to Earth
Tour dates (all w/ Sun Araw):
09.06.14 - Raleigh, NC - Hopscotch Festival
09.07.14 - Asheville, NC - Mothlight
09.08.14 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light
09.12.14 - Atlanta, GA - Mammal Gallery
09.13.14 - Savannah, GA - 37 Whitaker St.
09.14.14 - Athens, GA - Secret Squirrel