I was doubtful but Tamara managed to do it.
While I believed The Weather Station was on a ride down a steady decline, the band did exactly what I was fearful they wouldn't be able to do. They conjured a luxurious art-pop record including so many natural facets and performed it so effortlessly. While their more folk centric work isn't too polar from art-pop, it definitely possesses a different creative outlook. A record sounding so organic in composition, the sloppiness of instrumentation only contributes to its character and never becomes harsh.
On the debut The Weather Station record "The Line," only available on Bandcamp, they exhibited some of this naturality in their sound which was complimented by some originality with unique experimental qualities. Their true debut to streaming services alike was short of that. "All of It Was Mine" was seemingly really tapered and overly polished folk, barren of a unique aesthetic, and was super disappointing. Without a doubt, a huge dip in their career. On the following EP to come, "What Am I Going to Do With Everything I Know," you could tell the band wanted their unique flare to be present and distinguishable within their music. Without going full force on this EP, it managed to just stay afloat and be one of their better bodies of work. Continuing down a more depressing line of work, their sophomore record "Loyalty" has its moments but can never fully shine within any track completely. Luckily, "The Weather Station," the self-titled and third record in their discography showed some promise of a unique edge. The songwriting feeling a bit more intimate and the compositions becoming a bit more characterizable.
We have made it to 2021 where The Weather Station commits to a sophisticated art-pop sound with themes of chamber, disco, light folk, and sometimes even accompanied by drumlines. With a super distinguishable tracklist and prominent characteristics, "Ignorance" is by far their best work to date and includes ideas that were so breathtakingly tied together. Even in times of really relaxed musicality and exaggeratedly dirty recordings, the pristine sound that the band finds themselves in is left-field of what they know and even what art-pop indulgers are used to.
The production, as I have already mildly explained, can transfer through so many mediums. While I think it's inherent that a lot of thought went into the songs themselves rather than the project as a whole, there still was a lot of thought within the project as a whole. I really think Wear is the only dud track. When I say it is inherent that they put emphasis on songs, I mean a lot of the track pass through different foundations and normally it was in an unbalanced way. If a track founded by a rather prominent drum line was on the tracklist right next to another with the same quality, it showed me an attention to the track but not the tracklist. These tracks normally did end up being back to back if they were similarly founded. I think the thing that drove this further away from folk was how groovy it can become. When I say groovy, I mean disco groovy. I can draw so many disco comparisons when it comes to flashy synths or the syncopated basslines, and even some strings. Whilst having these instruments apparent, they all always stay collected and never reach a point of emphasis individually. The musicalities come together to shine as a dynamic and versatile composition that simply dazzles.
Arguably, the vocals are the weakest things about this record. They don't add a whole lot to the image it creates but the lyrics hold a bigger purpose. The lyricism at times can be metaphoric, thought provoking, interprative, visualable, and somewhat personal. I won't like there are ends to be pulled on the vocal/lyrical side. The lyrics accompany some really amazing vocal melodies that just capture so much catchiness. I listened to the singles a week before hand and immediately recalled them when listening again, super catchy shit. I do like the interprativeness of tracks like Robber and the visualization qualities of Atlantic. I also love the memorability of tracks like Tried to Tell You and Parking Lot. The last three tracks in this record can attest to what I was mentioning earlier about the poorly staggered tracklist. A perfect outro song could've been Trust for it's stripped back somberness but it was furthermore followed by two tracks, one of them being arguably one of the most upbeat songs on the project. This is one of those projects that you can just feel the energy and personality moving into it. Of course with containing some flaws and lame vocal moments, it shines on different fronts that are easy to attach yourself to.