Weyes Blood

Natalie Laura Mering (born June 11, 1988), known professionally as Weyes Blood (pronounced /wzblʌd/), is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. She was primarily raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. She has been performing her own material under variations of the name Weyes Blood (inspired by the 1952 novel Wise Blood) since 2003.[4]

Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood seated at a piano, looking to her side
Weyes Blood performing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameNatalie Laura Mering
Born (1988-06-11) June 11, 1988 (age 32)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
Instruments
Years active2003–present
Labels
Associated actsJackie-O Motherfucker Satanized
Websitehttp://www.weyesblood.com/

She began her career in the underground noise music scene and was briefly bassist of the Portland, Oregon-based group Jackie-O Motherfucker[3] and was singer for the band Satanized.[5] As Weyes Bluhd she made two self-released albums, changing to Weyes Blood to release The Outside Room (2011) on microlabel Not Not Fun Records. She then signed with independent label Mexican Summer, releasing The Innocents (2014) and Front Row Seat to Earth (2016). She released her latest studio album, Titanic Rising (2019) on Sub Pop, to critical acclaim.

Life and careerEdit

1988–2002: Early lifeEdit

Natalie Laura Mering[6] was born on June 11, 1988 in Santa Monica, California,[7] into a deeply religious born again Pentecostal Christian family.[8] Commenting on her upbringing, Mering said: "I was raised in a real spiritual, Bible Belt household. So I developed my own cynicism because there are always things in the bible that really bum me out...  I became really obsessed with The Kids in the Hall as a kid, and they had Scott Thompson, who's like the one gay member. I remember having this feeling that ‘Oh, Scott Thompson isn't going to heaven? How could that be?’ That was my first big tipoff that something wasn't quite right with dogmatic Christianity. And then I was just trying to undo it at the age of 12."[9]

Mering's family moved several times throughout her childhood; she spent her early life in the San Francisco Bay Area[10] before they settled in Doylestown, Pennsylvania in 1999, where she attended high school.[11] Both her older brothers and parents are musicians and music played an important part in her upbringing. Her father, Sumner Mering, is a musician and guitarist who was in a Los Angeles new wave band entitled Sumner in the late 1970s.[9]

2003–present: Musical careerEdit

At the age of 15 Mering began using the moniker Wise Blood to write songs. She changed to Weyes Bluhd on several self released records before changing the spelling to Weyes Blood.[10][12] After finishing high school, Mering relocated to Portland, Oregon to attend Lewis & Clark College, where she majored in music[13] and had a radio show on the campus radio station.[14] However, Mering dropped out after her first year of studies.[13] She subsequently began touring the underground music scene, performing as a bassist in the Portland-based band Jackie-O Motherfucker[15] and playing keyboards and singing with noise rock band Satanized.[5]

 
Mering performing in Los Angeles, 2019

In 2011 she released the album The Outside Room as Weyes Blood And The Dark Juices on Not Not Fun Records.[16][17] Uncut magazine described the album as ''devotional and ethereal, but with an edge",[18] while Beatbots found it "an impressive and ambitious album".[19] Mering released her second record in October 2014 called The Innocents, which was released through Mexican Summer.[20] It was recorded in rural Pennsylvania, Mering's apartment and Gary's Electric Studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.[10] It included contributions by Jacob Brunner (drums) and James Strong (bass).[12] Mering described the theme of the album as being "about my first real relationship that went really awry."[10]

After the album's release, Mering relocated from New York to Los Angeles, California. She commented: "I was in New York alone: no friends, no money, no record deal at the time. Literally I had nothing."[21] In 2016, she released her third album Front Row Seat to Earth, on Mexican Summer to critical acclaim, and toured throughout Europe and the States.[22] NPR wrote that the album reexamines "intimacy and idealism in ways that showcase Mering's gift for measuring and mediating heady emotions."[22] Mering stated the songs on the album were largely inspired by the isolation she felt while living in New York.[21]

On February 12, 2019, a new album titled Titanic Rising was announced and available to pre-order on her website, along with dates of her upcoming tour.[23] The album was released by Sub Pop on April 5, 2019 to critical acclaim.[24] Mering describes Titanic Rising as “The Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya.” [25] Other influences include Kate Bush and Karen Carpenter (or at least Sonic Youth’s hip, revisionist idea of Karen Carpenter).[26] Titanic Rising is described as a record about romantic disappointment, damaged reality, and finding hope.[27]

The record received high placements on year-end and decade-end lists from publications such as Pitchfork, Uproxx, Paste, Uncut, Dazed, The Guardian, and NPR.[28] On the 16th of July 2019, she did her TV debut at Late Night with Seth Meyers, where she performed her single ‘’Everyday’’ from Titanic Rising.[29] Live performance highlights include sold-out tours in the US and Europe, as well as opening for Kacey Musgraves in the fall of 2019 and singing with Lana Del Rey at the Hollywood Bowl.[28]

Mering was heavily involved in the 2020 Tim Heidecker album Fear of Death, singing on all twelve tracks, co-writing two and receiving a co-producer credit.[30]

InfluencesEdit

Mering has stated the church music, which figured prominently in her upbringing, has been an influence on her songwriting.[9] "Most of the great classical music and early music of our time is written for God in a sacred space," she said. "So sacred music and sacred space music — that was my favorite thing about music. Not so much content-wise. Not so much the theory and concept of God, but just the idea that we've built this gigantic, stone cathedral palace for people to sing in...  When I record, I think about sacred space and I think about what would be the sound of your soul if there is music coming out of it. It would probably be an echoey, strange chamber."[9] In an interview with Nardwuar in 2019 she revealed that she is also influenced by The Velvet Underground, Wolf Eyes, and experimental artist Inca Ore. Mering states in the same interview that early in her career while making experimental music, people likened her songs to horror film soundtracks. So she began to listen to and be influenced by film soundtracks such as Jaws and the Wizard of Oz.[31]

Mering is also highly influenced by the late singer songwriter, Harry Nilsson, in both singing style and songwriting.[32]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

Title Details US
[33]
US
Heat

[33]
UK
[34]
The Outside Room
The Innocents
  • Released: October 21, 2014
  • Label: Mexican Summer
  • Format: LP, CD, digital download
Front Row Seat to Earth
  • Released: October 21, 2016
  • Label: Mexican Summer
  • Format: LP, CD, digital download
23
Titanic Rising
  • Released: April 5, 2019
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • Format: LP, CD, cassette, digital download
34
3
68
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended playsEdit

Title EP details
Angels in America / Weyes Blood Split
  • Released: August 15, 2011
  • Label: Northern Spy
  • Format: LP, digital download
Cardamom Times
  • Released: October 19, 2015
  • Label: Mexican Summer
  • Format: LP, digital download
Myths 002
(alongside Ariel Pink)
  • Released: January 27, 2017
  • Label: Mexican Summer
  • Format: LP, digital download
Rough Trade Session
  • Released: October 22, 2019
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • Format: LP, digital download

SinglesEdit

Year Single Album
2015 "Cardamom"
Cardamom Times
2017 "Tears on Fire" (alongside Ariel Pink)
Myths 002
"A Certain Kind"/"Everybody's Talking"
2019 "Andromeda"
Titanic Rising
"Everyday"
"Movies"

Music videosEdit

Year Title Director(s)
2010 "Candy Boy" Unknown
2014 "Some Winters" Winston H Case
2015 "Bad Magic" Joey Frank
"In the Beginning" Kai Davey-Bellin and Laura-Lynn Petrick
2016 "Seven Words" Charlotte Linden Ercoli Coe
"Do You Need My Love?" Natalie Mering
"Generation Why"
"Used To Be" Laura-Lynn Petrick
2017 "Tears On Fire" (with Ariel Pink) Charlotte Linden Ercoli Coe
2019 "Everyday" Natalie Mering
"Movies"
2020 "Wild Time"

CollaborationsEdit

Year Song Album Artist
2008 "Jesse's Party" Together Again Raw Thrills
"I Lost Something in the Hills" Drugs
2011 "Where" So Post
2013 "One Side Art" Essential Thrills
2012 "Early Birds of Babylon" Mature Themes[11] Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
2015 "The Chat" Timeline[35][36] Mild High Club
2017 "Suddenly" The End of Comedy[37] Drugdealer
"The End of Comedy"
"Sides" No Shape Perfume Genius
"Friend of Lindy Morrison" Bravado Kirin J. Callinan
"Runnin' Outta Luck" Forced Witness Alex Cameron
"Politics of Love"
2018 "Blessed Be the Meek (Let Me Be)" Mondo Combo Raw Thrills
"God's Favorite Customer" God's Favorite Customer Father John Misty
"Grey Area" Like a Baby Jerry Paper
2019 "Honey" Raw Honey Drugdealer
2020 "Fear of Death" (and entire album) Fear of Death Tim Heidecker
"My God" Imploding the Mirage The Killers

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Albertson, Jasmine. "Weyes Blood Unveils Twangy New Single "Andromeda"". KEXP. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Thomaston, Lindsay. "Weyes Blood Shares Self-Directed Video for New Single "Movies"". Paste. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Artist Biography by Fred Thomas". Skinnywolves.com. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  4. ^ https://omny.fm/shows/the-poundcast/142-weyes-blood 13:10 "So you started about 10 years ago?..." "...fifteen!" "...as Weyes Blood?" "Yup."
  5. ^ a b http://nardwuar.com/rad/nardwuar-vs-weyes-blood-2/ 20:32 "I was the singer of a band called Satanized and it was a weird, mathy metal band..."
  6. ^ "The Birth of Natalie Mering". California Birth Index. State of California Vital Records and Statistics. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  7. ^ Wagoner, Mackenzie (March 31, 2017). "This California Singer Has an Essential Oil Fix for Every Skin Issue". Vogue. Archived from the original on June 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Hardee, Howard (September 20, 2017). "Weyes Blood's Grand Chamber Pop Was Inspired by Church, Smurfs and a Breakup". Riverfront Times. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Horn, John (October 20, 2016). "Natalie Mering taps into Christian roots on Weyes Blood's latest album". The Frame. KPCC. Archived from the original on October 28, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d Comingore, Aly (October 21, 2014). "An Older, Wiser Weyes Blood". Interview. Archived from the original on December 4, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Dominguez, Mary Lynn (January 10, 2015). "THERE WILL BE BLOOD: Q&A w/ Natalie Mering". Phawker.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Weyes Blood - The Innocents". Discogs. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  13. ^ a b White, Caitlin (October 24, 2017). "The Ascent Of Weyes Blood's Mystic Pop". Uproxx. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  14. ^ Williams, Maxwell (January 13, 2017). "Pop Music for an Uncertain Future :: A Conversation with Weyes Blood". The Hundreds. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017.
  15. ^ Lovitt, Bryn (October 12, 2015). ""The New Avant Garde Is Being Conservative": An Interview with Weyes Blood". Vice. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019.
  16. ^ "Weyes Blood And The Dark Juices* - The Outside Room". The Outside Room. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  17. ^ "Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices – The Outside Room". Skinnywolves.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  18. ^ Mulvey, John (May 31, 2011). "Weyes Blood & The Dark Juices: "The Outside Room" - Uncut". Uncut. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  19. ^ Kabara, Tim (June 27, 2011). "Beatbots Audio Reviews : Weyes Blood and the Dark Juices - The Outside Room". Beatbots.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  20. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (October 28, 2014). "Weyes Blood: The Innocents Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "About a Band: Weyes Blood". Urban Outfitters. Archived from the original on June 12, 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Review: Weyes Blood, 'Front Row Seat To Earth'". National Public Radio. October 13, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  23. ^ Yoo, Noah (February 12, 2019). "Weyes Blood Announces New Album Titanic Rising, Shares New Song "Everyday": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  24. ^ "Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood". Metacritic. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  25. ^ "Weyes Blood Announces New North American and European "Something to Believe" Tour Dates". Under the Radar magazine.
  26. ^ "'Enya is up there with the Beatles'". Irish Time.
  27. ^ "Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising album review". Uncut.
  28. ^ a b "Weyes Blood - Sub Pop". Sub Pop.
  29. ^ "Everyday live from Late Night with Seth Meyers". Youtube.
  30. ^ https://timheidecker.bandcamp.com/album/fear-of-death
  31. ^ Nardwuar vs. Weyes Blood, retrieved October 20, 2019
  32. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/weyes-blood-album-titanic-rising-843084/
  33. ^ a b "Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  34. ^ "Weyes Blood". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  35. ^ Beauchemin, Molly (September 11, 2015). "Mild High Club Teams With Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood on "The Chat"". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  36. ^ Tully Claymore, Gabriela (September 11, 2015). "Mild High Club – "The Chat" (Feat. Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood) Video". Stereogum. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  37. ^ "Drugdealer – The End of Comedy | Weird World". Weirdworldrecordco.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.

External linksEdit