Music Hall of Williamsburg
Psychic Ills

Part of Northside Festival

Psychic Ills

Weyes Blood, She-Devils

Sat, June 11, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$15

This event is 18 and over

Psychic Ills
Psychic Ills
When it comes to following the beat of their own drum, New York’s Psychic Ills have exemplified the phrase since their beginnings in 2003. Initially spawned from electronic-centered home recording experiments, they progressed into all-night full-band exploration in a neighborhood where noise wasn’t a problem. They soon after evolved into a live band seemingly at home within the extended jam, exploring a variety of musical terrain. The early years saw several releases for Social Registry, tons of time on the road, and collaborations with artists as diverse as Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) and Sonic Boom (Spacemen Three/Spectrum). In 2011, their first effort for Sacred Bones, Hazed Dream traded in the synthesizer space-outs and raga rumbles, and delivered a record of sunburned psych pop, awash in warm tones and blues damaged songwriting.
Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood
The first thing you notice about Weyes Blood’s new album, Front Row Seat to Earth, is its closeness. The music is immediate and warm with intimate feeling. This disarming nearness draws out emotion from the album’s sound in evocative, bold color. The lyrics serve not to obscure and mystify, but to perform, reveal, and take the listener inside. This is the folk music of the near future.

Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, sings sublimely on Front Row. These are her words and she means them. Between the subtle pulses of her breath, we feel the textures of her voice. Her delivery is a trained low gloss, polished with the charm of speech. Mering embeds her song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, and outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course.

There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato, and the ecstatic chord resolves. It is the joyful release of energy as the song delicately unfolds from intro to extrospection.

But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, and acceptance of change. Love and loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in its hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen and some special guests, contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of A.M. radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.

The closeness of this record - how personal, alone, and frank it feels - conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the “Earth” of its title. Mering wants to lead us through the microcosm of the personal to the macrocosm of the transpersonal. Her witness harbors devastating weight (”... and now you can’t stay, please baby don’t go away”) while universalizing the strange ways of identity and relationships.

These are not typical love songs or protest songs; they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love. Mering affirms the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world. She illuminates and mythologizes it, projecting it back over the whole of Earth. The inner ecology leads outward, bridging “us” with our obscure inheritance of nature.

Active in underground music since 2006, Natalie Mering has collaborated with Jackie-O Motherfucker and Ariel Pink, and released four records as Weyes Blood. Front Row Seat to Earth is her third record for Mexican Summer.
She-Devils
She-Devils
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/