AOTY 2023

And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow

Weyes Blood - And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
Critic Score
Based on 33 reviews
2022 Ratings: #64 / 807
Year End Rank: #9
User Score
2022 Ratings: #11
Liked by 852 people
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The Telegraph

Titanic Rising was met with rave reviews, but this record – which spans steely indie-rock and strummed country ballads – might just be her magnum opus.

LA-based artist Natalie Mering cuts through this strange and isolating period of history with a subtle touch, carefully unearthing a scrap of hope in the process.
Still Listening

And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is another elegant record from Weyes Blood.

The Line of Best Fit
Feeling like a timeless classic, this record is one that you can revisit whenever you want to hear the comforting sounds of another soul trying to figure it all out.

Her voice alone is worth preserving humanity for, hitting peaks of gorgeous, sleek torment on the cosmic beauty of "A Given Thing".

Loud and Quiet
Her immense voice has a timeless quality reminiscent of Carole King or Joni Mitchell, and she is not afraid of borrowing from her idols – Scott Walker, Kate Bush, Harry Nilsson and John Cale all have their fingerprints on this record.

An uncanny valley that allows the listener to meditate on the strangeness, and the impracticality, of how we’re living right now. That’s her winning formula, and it’s why Titanic Rising and now And In The Darkness resonate far beyond simple sonic beauty.

Under the Radar

Musically, In the Darkness is perhaps her grandest, most elegant work to date—a perfect culmination of her past experimentalism and deep devotion to graceful melodies that lift from the deepest parts of the soul up to the heavens.

Beats Per Minute
However, it’s not enough for her to just observe this; she needs to honour the weight of this burden, to find every crack it flows into and to investigate every complication it may yield. In that way, she is a torch bearer for our times.
No Ripcord
Mering’s latest, with producer Jonathan Rado back at her side, is immediately recognizable as being lusher, grander, and bigger budgeted than her previous high water mark.
The Forty-Five

Primarily, ‘And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow’ is just a universe of its own – peppered with the sounds of days gone by, interspersed with the moods of a generation, but packaging them all up into something to sink into, to find respite in no matter what calendar year or crisis you might find yourself. It’s a true gem.

Natalie Mering’s majestic fifth record is a dispatch from the center of catastrophe—an idiosyncratic set of love songs and secular hymns with lushly orchestral arrangements.
Record Collector

And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is a rich, nuanced and brilliant reflection of a world in turmoil. For her sake and ours, let’s hope the final part of this trilogy can look to more hopeful times.


It might not be interplanetary - it's too firmly rooted in the earthly, the human, for that - but And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow again shows Mering's most extraordinary craft.

The Sydney Morning Herald
That she shares her catastrophic message through swooning orchestral anthems and gloriously warm ’70s production - songs that sound like the Carpenters doing post-pandemic despair - is central to Mering’s appeal.

Despite its universal charm and musical timelessness, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is time-specific, providing an important sense of catharsis in the context of the past few years of uncertainty and social isolation. It’s another resounding success for Weyes Blood.

The Observer
Natalie Mering elegantly tackles modern existential malaise in this latest collection of lush ballads.
Evening Standard
The Californian artist’s fifth album makes pessimism sound like fairy bells.
Northern Transmissions
Mering pins her hopes on the idea that as naturally as things fall apart, they often fall into the right place, too. Maybe there’s a bit of magical thinking on her part – it would certainly fit the ethereal essence of all her music – but she might be onto something.
The Independent
Written during the pandemic, the record plays out as a proggy prayer for humanity.
God Is in the TV

The follow up to the ominous Titanic Rising displays a perspective on the epicentre of the Coronavirus era that is both heart-achingly vulnerable ... as well as being philosophically intellectual with myths and self-help theories.

The Guardian

Natalie Mering’s follow-up to the superb Titanic Rising sets 21st-century pessimism to one fantastic tune after another – and gently suggests this all may be deadpan humour.

Rolling Stone
Natalie Mering's fifth album is a beautifully wrought pop record that grapples with the disquiet hanging over the globe.
The Skinny

On And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, she lets you back into her world with her warm, lugubrious tones riding high in the mix, setting up a confessional, intimate feel to the entire album.

Natalie reaches a joyous conclusion – it’s love that matters, after everything else falls away. The album ends on two words that sum up her philosophy: “love everlasting”. It may be dark, but Weyes Blood is still aglow.

And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow is another step forward for Weyes Blood, building on the stunning sonic and emotional environments she tailored on Titanic Rising and using that lushness as a means of processing destabilized times.

Spectrum Culture

You can criticize it for not doing much to innovate on what Mering accomplished on Titanic Rising, but all that matters is that it’s every bit as elegantly crafted as its predecessor.


This is Weyes Blood at her smoothest and most approachable, with the cracks filled in and rough edges polished away. It is pretty and well put together, even if it lacks the quirks that helped make Mering’s music special in the first place.

The Needle Drop

Hearts Aglow alternates between being absolutely stunning, and pleasant while it's on.

Slant Magazine
The album is rooted in our current moment, though if occasionally paints with a broad brush.
Natalie Mering’s fifth album is a compelling and beautifully told tale of coming out of the darkness.
The Arts Desk
The best material has something of deconstructed country music about it.
The Irish Times
Latest album in Natalie Mering’s intended trilogy is reliable if occasionally overdone.

The pure euphoria of this album translates, and it translates heavier than her last album. Needless to say I’m in love


Mother 🥺

An undeniable feeling of weightlessness accompanies Weyes Blood while she cries out every note as if it was her last breath. I can only describe the feeling of being taken into the picturesque world of Natalie Mering's imaging akin to being carried away by a wave of pillowy clouds that brush gracefully against your skin as you ascend to the Heavens. The clouds rub against your skin, gracefully pushing you on your way. Pure, unequivocal elegance and euphoria are brought to life ... read more


And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow é o conto épico dos anseios intermináveis de uma geração que tende a enfrentar um futuro desolador.

Não seria exagero da parte de ninguém citar Natalie Mering, que atende pelo nome de Weyes Blood, como uma artista atemporal, pois, mesmo que pertença aos eixos da atual geração de cantores alternativos, ela ainda assim consegue soar como uma cantora tradicional. And In The Darkness, Hearts ... read more


So beautiful. Also, wow, that is one of the best album covers I have ever seen.


First half are beauties.


undeniably sweet and beautiful

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Added on: July 14, 2022