Singer and songwriter Weyes Blood released her fourth studio album, “Titanic Rising,” in April 2019 to widespread critical acclaim. The album takes its listener on a journey through a beautiful dream-like landscape, while also showcasing Blood’s most raw and powerful songwriting to date.
Natalie Maring, known by her stage name Weyes Blood, explores a myriad of topics and themes within the album. Reflecting on love and the vast hopelessness of adulthood, the production combines chamber pop, folk vocals and an influence of 70s soft rock.
The atmosphere in each of the 10 tracks is further enhanced when listeners take a glance at the absolutely incredible album cover, showing a real photo of Maring floating in an underwater bedroom. A similar cover art was also used in Blood’s extended play “Rough Trade Session,” which was released later that year in October.
“A Lot’s Gonna Change” is a serene and glamorous opening track with beautifully soft vocals, pristine ambient production and a rich piano instrumental that builds up slowly over the track, eventually bringing its listener into a trance-like state. Maring’s songwriting touches on themes of recollecting her past self, reassuring that it won’t sink away with passage of time.
The track “Andromeda” is named after the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way. In the same way researchers often speculate if life exists within the Andromeda galaxy, Maring asks directly if love can exist in a vast and endlessly distracting modern world.. Accompaniment by an ethereal chorus and a beautiful chamber pop atmosphere makes this one of Blood’s most popular tracks.
Themes of love continue in “Everyday,” a more sonically upbeat track with more traditional pop production that touches on the effects of dating applications and how many people are left on the wayside and feel judged by others. It almost tricks the listener into thinking that love in the modern age has returned to the forefront. This feeling of repeated loneliness is expanded upon in the track “Something to Believe” and permeates throughout the rest of the album.
After the interlude, “Titanic Rising,” comes the album’s standout track “Movies.” Maring reveals her desire to live in the simplistic setting of a movie, in a world where the goals are clear cut for herself as the theoretical protagonist and everyone knows and understands how she feels. Maring loved movies growing up, but realized that a majority of them aren’t true reflections of what real life is like. The gorgeous synth-heavy buildup feels like a slow ascension in a vast ocean towards the surface, eventually exploding into a harmonic crescendo by the end.
The atmosphere sinks back down, and reflection on oneself and the ability to love is brought back to the forefront in the following tracks “Mirror Forever” and “Wild Time.” The heavy subject matter on “Picture Me Better” details one of Maring’s friends who took their own life during the making of the album. Maring wrote the lyric “Picture us better / We finally found a winter for your sweater” as a way to envision her friend to feel at peace in the afterlife. The album concludes with the second instrumental track “Nearer to Thee,” with a bonus track “Titanic Risen” to conclude the album’s Japanese release.
Blood’s “Titanic Rising” is as ethereal as it is beautifully written and poignant. The way the album subverts its typical pop roots, melding with soft rock and chamber music to create an immersed atmosphere coupled with incredible composition and songwriting makes this album one of the best of the previous decade.