Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices: “The Outside Room”

Kind of out of practice with blogging, I’ve been so distracted by other stuff these past few weeks. I have a long list of stuff to cover, though, and this album by Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices seems a good place to start.

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Kind of out of practice with blogging, I’ve been so distracted by other stuff these past few weeks. I have a long list of stuff to cover, though, and this album by Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices seems a good place to start.



There’s a fair amount of focus on the Not Not Fun label at the moment, not least that recent Wire cover, at a time when I’m personally finding some of their releases less to my taste (a bit too much refracted ‘80s neon and not enough psych murk, I guess); Sun Araw has flown the coop too, with a new album imminent on Drag City. The candlelit, sepulchral and corroded “The Outside Room” by Weyes Blood is a big exception to the rule, though.

Weyes Blood, a little googling reveals, is the project of Natalie Mering, once of Jackie O-Motherfucker (though since JOMF have had more lineup changes than The Fall in the past decade, I couldn’t say where or when she figured in the band). The last record on NNF that entered this territory was probably by Zola Jesus, but Mering’s gothic sensibilities take in a lot more folk – and a lot more “Marble Index”-era Nico, too.

Consequently, the opening “Storms That Breed” is a supernaturally-distorted waltz, with Mering’s beautiful and somewhat forlorn vocals gradually being subsumed by rust-covered clanking which manages to be aesthetically harmonious rather than distorted. Imagine Linda Perhacs if she’d never emerged from that avant-garde well she falls into halfway through “Parallelograms”, or maybe a darker companion to Julianna Barwick.

That clank appears to have been orchestrated, at least in part, by The Shadow Ring’s elusive Graham Lambkin, and it really comes to the fore on “Candyboy”, where the toolshed jam session co-exists with a wandering guitar lead, whirling organ and Mering’s mournful wail to outstanding effect. Again, the vibe is devotional and ethereal, but with an edge, hammered home by the long coda, in which a Bach-like organ fugue is given a characteristically unsettling sonic treatment. Next up, though, the beautiful “Romneydale” resembles nothing so much as Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”, heard through soup.

Very good record, anyhow. If you’re in the mood for braving Myspace, give Weyes Blood a listen and let me know what you think.

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