For the last decade or so, Toronto-based folk singer, songwriter, musician and child actor Tamara Lindeman - aka The Weather Station - has been producing piercing introspections on a string of decreasingly folky albums. In 2009, she released the bedroom-produced The Line and has gradually evolved into the project heard today on fifth album Ignorance.
From the very start, Lindeman has put her own unconventional, raw spin on traditional idioms, like on 2017’s “Thirty,” from the band’s self-titled breakthrough, where a daydream about a gentle embrace spins out into a sprawling remembrance about anti-depressants, gas prices, and the strength of the Canadian dollar.
On Ignorance, she tackles the climate crisis with the backing of a full 10-piece band, not from a preachy place, but one of concern. She is a compelling story teller and here she approaches a broader audience, solidifying the 36 year old as one of the most audaciously inventive auteurs working in the broad tradition of singer-songwriter. This 10-song collection is propelled by a driving rhythm section and features everything from piano dance grooves to somber folk expressions with fluttering flutes and crisp orchestral sections that truly encompass a innovative baroque pop undertaking many wouldn't dare consider.
Throughout the album, she suggests the first step is rejecting cynicism, a sentiment she is quick to mention that she shares with Weyes Blood's 2019 album Titanic Rising which featured similarly heavy subject matter. However, Lindeman seems to dig until she discovers scenes that hold universal significance as if leading a guided meditation.
Where other people are constantly pushing forward, Lindeman seems to ponder connections and pause in moments which she seemingly collects for her writing of the songs on Ignorance.
For example, she says that 'Parking Lot' is a "love song to a bird". She hits the road on 'Subdivisions' - “Got in the car, and the cold metallic scent of snow caught in my throat as I reached out to turn on the radio,” she sings, not the last time she will resemble Springsteen on Ignorance. And then on 'Atlantic', the song she says is her favourite on the record, she is simply breathless while 'Tried To Tell You' closely observes someone else's pain.
The most sensitive souls suffer most and it's clear that Lindeman is a deep feeler. By exposing the lies we live every day, she has created the crux of Ignorance, a truly stunning of album of grief. But unlike those who make the majority of the heartbreak music, The Weather Station has made one you can tap your to.
Listen to Ben's full interview with Tamara Lindeman of The Weather Station.
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