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Music review Great outlook from The Weather Station

The Weather Station
Oslo, London

WITH the release of 2015’s Loyalty and last year’s self-titled album, 33-year old Canadian singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, aka The Weather Station, has created two masterpieces of modern folk-influenced popular music.

Opening with two of her quieter songs, Personal Eclipse and the stunning Way It Is, Way It Could Be, much of the set faithfully recreates the delicate acoustic guitar-led instrumentation that has become her trademark sound.

But, with the latest record a little more rock-orientated, her impressive band, comprising lead guitar, bass and drums, gets to crank up the volume.

Several of the new songs pack a real punch. Bouncy single Kept It All To Myself is the catchiest — “I tried to leave you; I left only myself” — while the mighty Thirty, a propulsive and dense narrative reminiscent of Bob Dylan, closes the set.

Building from an electronic drone and some impressive drumming, Impossible is another high point of the night, with Lindeman explaining it was inspired by the feeling of waking up and reading the news and wanting to head straight back to bed.

Best of all are her rich, mysterious and poetic lyrics and her beguiling, sometimes soaring vocals. Themes of romantic love and travel abound, with the songs seemingly made up of snippets of intimate conversations and private thoughts that the listener is eavesdropping on. Is this what reading someone’s diary feels like?

Fellow Canuck Joni Mitchell is obviously a key touchstone, though the intelligence and emotional heft of her words also bring to mind songwriting giants like Aimee Mann and Suzanne Vega.

Packed into the small east London venue, the audience is respectful and restrained throughout. One person at the side of the stage even responds with a quiet “bless you” when Lindeman, sneezes off mic at the end of a song.

If anyone in the audience wasn’t a fan before this gig, they certainly were by the end.

The Weather Station are appearing at End of the Road Festival, Salisbury, August 30-September 2

 

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