The bramble is thick, but you swipe at the thorny plant overgrowth that impedes your movement through the dark forest. Lacerations canvas your arms and other parts of your body. Suddenly, light. You fall through the last green threshold and collapse onto a patch of soft grass. You slowly rise to your feet and look around. A meadow surrounds you, filled with fluorescence, life, and warmth. You hear music in the trees, and you walk towards them . . .
Curl up next to something or someone warm for this one. Loyalty is the third album by Tamara Lindeman and her band, The Weather Station. On previous albums, Lindeman succeeded in establishing herself as a formidable voice in the folk world, but opting for traditionally conceptual imagery in her songwriting. This new full-length is a totally original being, because Lindeman cuts through all of that and bears her real woes.
‘Real’ is probably the best word to encompass this record. Every song cradles the listener’s ears and projects the comforting image of the singer and her wonderfully complementary bandmates in a small, intimate lounge. Lindeman’s strikingly articulate and passionate voice may ring highest in these songs, but the subtly vivid instrumentation provides a lofty platform for her to lament with the most beauty.
It almost feels intrusive to listen to these gorgeous pieces of music. They sound private and arcane, like dark secrets that you keep to yourself and divulge to only the most trusted confidants. Lindeman dwells on the agonies of life that ache, but also thrust you further through existence, things that can’t be fixed and mustn’t if one wants to continue living. It’s breathtaking. If you’re seeking pristine, intimate folk, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)