Weyes Blood at Islington Assembly Hall: ‘A smooth sailing performance by an ever-rising star’

Naming your album Titanic Rising is a risky move. There’s always the possibility of subjecting your music to easy comparisons to the unfortunate fate of the early twentieth century passenger liner. Thankfully, Weyes Blood suffered no such a downfall. Instead, the singer-songwriter treated Islington Assembley Hall to a night where just about everything goes swimmingly. 

Weyes Blood offers a somewhat magical and unique brand of indie folk pop. Her music channels the likes of The Carpenters and Father John Misty into the future, as if their music had been rocketed into the space age. 

As Weyes Blood (Aka Californian Natalie Mering) took to the stage beneath a sparkling glitter ball, the attentive Islington audience were transported into a mesmerising cosmic dream.

“Wild Time” approached the cinematic territory of OK Computer era Radiohead, while Mering adopted the role of sci-fi cowboy during the soothing synth lead “Andromeda”, flirting with country influences amid a sea of dulcet, elegant electronic trickles. Mering gently swayed and danced abstractly as hallucinogenic electronic impulses reverberated during stand out track “In Movies”. “Everyday” recalled Beatles-esque pop, her bouncing and jaunty piano line juxtaposing melancholic lyrics.

Weyes Blood even treated the delicately silent audience with a surprising, charming cover of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” – a strong take on a track that most would dare to even think about cover. Like the rest of the evening, the cover was an exercise in restraint: an effortlessly cinematic set that never strayed into bombast.

The set was brought to a poignant close as Mering’s bandmates departed to leave her alone with her acoustic guitar. Mering traded her gothic space-age folk for the hushed singer-songwriter folk of “Bad Magic” from 2014’s The Innocents. Resembling the likes of Julie Byrne and Aldous Harding, “Bad Magic” provided an eerie moment of self-reflection amid the futuristic soundscapes and big screen beauties.

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