Titanic Rising: psychedelia meets sadcore

By Staff Writer Sawyer Pollit.

American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Weyes Blood released her fourth full length album Titanic Rising this past week. This forty-two-minute album offers a dreamy, atmospheric experience that is a treat to the ears.

Weyes Blood possesses a captivating and hauntingly beautiful voice. I was immediately drawn in by her vocals and was genuinely engrossed in the music. Her voice is reminiscent of Lana Del Rey if she had vocal training and was able to lay off the barbiturates. In other words, amazing and with good diction.

Weyes’ musical style is often described as soft-rock, psychedelic pop, and psychedelic folk. It could be described as a cross between The Beatles and Father John Misty, with a little more of Lana mixed in. The track “Everyday” for example borrows instrumental motifs almost directly from The Beatles’ Penny Lane. Further comparisons to Lana Del Rey are unavoidable as the tracks possess a mysterious ambiance that evokes the sounds of 1950’s cinematic music as well as the “Hollywood sadcore” that Del Rey is known for.

Aside from the inspiration Weyes’ has from 60’s psychedelic music, there are little elements of more abstract sounds that manage to sneak out from the vibrant strings and soft piano that inhabit Titanic Rising. These pockets of variety really stand out in a great way, and it would be very interesting to see if and how Weyes’ could incorporate those sounds into her music in a more impactful way.

The atmospheric nature of this project was also quite appealing. Although at the time of my first listen it left me a little disappointed, upon subsequent listens I came to enjoy the dreamy “Space sounds to relax and study to” vibe that this album gives off. Titanic Rising is a very good LP to listen to if, for example, one found themselves starting a campfire on a beach off of route one in Southern California after driving in a VW bus with their lifestyle blogging partner.

Often times when listening to an album I mark the point where I no longer want to keep listening. While enjoying Titanic Rising this never happened. I eagerly anticipated every new track in the album. However, I did reach a point on nearly every individual track where I really wanted to skip to the next song.

Aside from any aspects of personal taste and preference, this reveals the only real issue that I have with this album. The tracks are just too long. Atmospheric and psychedelic music is understandably drawn out, but there were many times when I had heard all I needed to. The songs went from being interesting to being background music within the span of a few minutes.

That is not to say that the music is in anyway bad. It just doesn’t offer enough sonic variety for me to be content listening to songs that often range from four to six minutes. Every track on Titanic Rising is a joy to listen to. Weyes Blood is a fantastic musician who knows how to weave an elegant and appealing auditory tapestry. She just needs to learn how to edit down her songs.

On a ten point scale, I would rate Titanic Rising as a satisfying eight. The music is well played and produced. Every track could easily find its way into a playlist or even on someone’s daily musical rotation.

Like all music, the tracks on Titanic Rising have a time and place where they would be best heard. The duration of the tracks, although a nuisance at times, can’t be counted against the album too much. After all, the skip button exists for a reason.


Leave a Reply