This Weyes Blood article was written by Sam Forsdick, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Macon Oxley
Weyes Blood is the project of New York singer-songwriter Natalie Mering. Her latest offering, the ‘Cardamom Times’ EP, is the follow-up to last year’s full-length ‘The Innocents’. Whilst ‘The Innocents’ incorporated electronic elements into the traditional folk formula, ‘Cardamom Times’ opts for a more straightforward sound, making it a sparse and daring entry to the Weyes Blood discography.
The EP opens with gentle strumming on the acoustic guitar before Mering’s dulcet tones creep in. Her voice is reminiscent of some of her female folk contemporaries, Joanna Newsome and Vashti Bunyan, yet still has her own unique style that is distinctly hers. The track also introduces the lyrical theme of the EP: on each track there seems to be a constant yearning for a love that seems just out of reach. The track closes with Mering, almost pleading, repeating the line “I’ll give you everything, don’t expect nothing, I’ll be waiting.”
‘Take You There’ is the most minimal track on the EP. Drawn out chords on the electric organ provide a haunting backdrop for Mering’s vocals. Mering then gradually layers recordings of her voice which build to create entrancing harmonies that draw the listener in. The overall effect is both beautiful and beguiling. The title track, ‘Cardamom Times’, brings in some slight variation, this time with sprightly flute playing which overlaps the softly plucked guitar. However, the lyrics once again revolve around the notion of coveting an absent lover: “Summer without you just won’t do, I need you”. The EP then closes with ‘In the Beginning’, which carefully draws together elements from each of the other songs, as guitar and organ combine to create a mesmeric melody which once again perfectly complements Mering’s ethereal tone.
‘Cardamom Times’ was entirely recorded on a reel-to-reel deck and the faint hiss of the tape gives a very organic feel to the whole recording. It transports you to the shore of the lake, bathed in the hazy light of a late summer sunset, which features on the cover. The music and cover image draw memories of dreamy, listless evenings spent whiling away the time, alone with nature and your thoughts. ‘Cardamom Times’ perfectly captures all these feelings and provides each song with a unifying theme that ties the whole EP neatly together. However, with just four tracks, the EP itself is as fleeting as those nostalgia soaked nights, and I would happily spend longer at the side of that lake.
‘Cardamom Times’ is available now via Mexican Summer.