Weyes Blood - “And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow” Album Review

Story posted November 30, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Fernanda Lopez.

Natalie Mering, known by her stage name Weyes Blood released her awaited fifth album: “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow” three years after the instantaneous success of her previous album “Titanic Rising.”

With the praise “Titanic Rising” received around the globe, Mering had both critics and fan base patiently waiting for an album that lived up to their high expectations.

Starting with her main single, “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” Weyes Blood introduces the listener to her classical and “Carpenters-Esque” vocals, accompanying the tender piano with her strong lower register.

This song is a sweet and comfortable approach to the new album – as she sticks to the melancholic sounds she's known for.

“Children Of The Empire” is a lively song with loud and crisp instrumentation, combining her vocals with multiple harmonies which resembled a choir.

The harmonies guide the pace of the song, creating a peaceful and entertaining atmosphere.

The third song of this album starts off with a stripped-down acoustic sound.

Singing about feeling powerless and controlled by men, Mering’s story-telling and defined vocals blend beautifully.

This song follows a pattern Weyes Blood is known for – starting slowly and gradually increasing its power.

The second half of the album starts with a cinematic 14 second interlude called “And In The Darkness.” This short, yet moving piece feels like a breather in the middle of the album.

“Twin Flame” is another ballad that somehow does not feel repetitive, as it has a special depth to it.

With the help of synthesizers in the beginning of the tune, to the unexpected switch to her higher register during the chorus, this song sounds like a blend of folk with synth-pop.

Her narration, alongside her smooth vocals are almost hypnotizing, guiding the instrumental and once again and creating an ambiance of nostalgia and hopefulness.

“In Holy Flux '' is another short but effective interlude, where Mering grabs inspiration from her previous album, creating a piece that feels as if it was recorded under the ocean.

Her ability to mix vocals with synthesizers and harmonies to create different ambiances is one of the reasons why she's one of the most exciting folk artists of this decade.

Followed by the last leg of this album, “The Worst Is Done,” Weyes Blood sings about her relief from the past years – feeling grateful and scared that everyone says that the worse is already behind.

The contrast between the joyful and tender sounds with the lyrics about suffocating with thoughts about the future makes this song one of the most innovative of the album.

Mering closes the album with “A Given Thing,” a simple and slow piano ballad about fighting love and attempting to not hurt anymore.

This song can be interpreted as advice toward herself or a loved one.

Yet the passion and the instrumental simplicity make this song the best one to close the album with – wrapping the entire body of work with a golden ribbon.

Weyes Blood has done it again by creating a vulnerable and powerful album where her lyrics and aesthetics blended incredibly with her vocals.

Despite this album having its voice and relevance in her discography, she remains loyal to her previous works, giving homage to them by continuing to do what she has done since the beginning of her career – create nostalgic atmospheres.

Rating: 9/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “In Holy Flux, “And in The Darkness,” “Children Of The Empire”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Songs: “A Given Thing”

Fernanda Lopez is a second-year majoring in telecommunications. To contact her, email lfl5339@psu.edu.