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Weyes Blood: “And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow” Album Review

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. John's chapter.

At first listen, artist Weyes Blood, also known as Natalie Mering, seems to be somewhat of a Karen Carpenter for her time. However, Mering’s music doesn’t simply depend on appealing to nostalgia. Instead, this 34-year-old singer-songwriter from California resurrects the sounds of the 60’s and 70’s to contemplate modern issues of climate change and the loneliness of our tech-driven world. 

On the surface, her latest release titled And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow sounds like an angelic and sweet composition. However, there is a foreboding feeling of an apocalypse at near arrival, like a dark shadow coming closer and closer. The first track, “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” starts small with Mering’s delicate voice alone at a party, which soon develops into a ballad about if any of Mering’s fellow partygoers truly know her, or if friendship in modern times is simply superficial. “Wondering if anyone knows me, really sees who I am.” Her next few tracks develop into a call to action. In “Children of the Empire”, she speaks about how there is “so much blood on our hands” and there’s a clear need to fix our society. 

While metaphors and hidden meanings are fascinating to uncover, sometimes it’s better when an album isn’t coy about what it wants to convey. Nothing is dressed up with figurative language when Mering sings in her on-the-nose pandemic song titled “The Worst is Done”. For example, she sings “I should’ve stayed with my family, I shouldn’t have stayed in my little place in the world’s loneliest city”. These meaningful lyrics are painted with instrumentals full of stately and unsyncopated rhythms. The arrangements are orchestral and perfectly lengthy, along the lines of a six-minute-long guided meditation. 

Songs about human loneliness and heartbreak are fairly common, but there is something about Mering’s lyrics that feels more personal. When looking deeper, the reasoning is rather obvious. Her lyrics are focused on the “we” rather than the “I”. “We are more than just the pain”/ “We’re all lost”/ “We’re long gone”/ “We’re all so cracked after that”. This small yet significant aspect bridges the gap between artist and listener, allowing us to relate on a deeper level to the words being sung. Even when Mering is addressing humanity in a broader sense, her touches as an artist keep the tracks personal and alive. This is what elevates a song like “Grapevine” or “God Turn Me Into a Flower”, a minimalist piece that becomes somewhat of a hymn in its emotional power. 

Weyes Blood as an artist allows us to look deeper into ourselves and let our feelings be displayed through her personal and lyrical words. And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow may aim to inspire humanity as a whole, but truly it begins with a woman alone at a party.

Grace Notarstefano

St. John's '26

Grace is currently a freshman at St. John’s University in Queens NY. She is double majoring in History and Italian, with hopes to someday become a professor and enter the world of research. She can be found painting and sculpting, reading, trying new recipes, or writing up a post for her blog on the literature of the world.