Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All Of It Was Mine - The Weather Station

All Of It Was Mine

The Weather Station
You’ve Changed Records.

SCQ Rating: 87%

On days I wake up in fervor about some sensational label I’d dreamed up in the night, it’s relieving to remember that You’ve Changed Records actually exists. The common strains of retro aesthetic and rustic approach linking each release would be good for nothing without music that rivals the grassroots appeal of this young catalog and You’ve Changed Records hasn’t had much in the way of quality control problems lately, what with expert releases by Shotgun Jimmie and Daniel Romano. That said, the label might've landed its crowning achievement with The Weather Station’s All Of It Was Mine.

Confronting the new album by Tamara Lindeman with grand compliments seems a damning thought, as though the record's delicacy may wilt under a single glare of hype. Her sophomore record is a lean twenty-eight minutes of acoustic lilts, with Lindeman’s songbird delivery often resolutely caged. Vulnerability is something The Weather Station has in droves but it’s never the suffocating sort; these arrangements move too briskly and have too much on their minds to bother soaking in a melodramatic moment. Opener ‘Everything I Saw’ establishes The Weather Station as a band – featuring a handful of musicians including Misha Bower of Bruce Peninsula and Romano on a variety of instruments – which boasts the light twang of banjo whilst ‘Came So Easy’ finds Lindeman with an acoustic in her kitchen, backed by Bower’s lovely harmonies. Her sweet delivery creates an idyllic mood-piece but the implicit pleasantries disguise a crucial streak of regret and doubt that give ‘Chip On My Shoulder’ and ‘If I’ve Been Fooled’ their bite.

Some of the finest tracks tend to evaporate suddenly but perhaps that temporary nature witnessed on ‘Yarrow and Mint’ and ‘Trying’ works to their advantage, since – let’s face it – I am playing them over and over. And since so few moments on All Of It Was Mine offer refrain or respite, I’ve found myself compelled by the fleeting poignancy of its lyrical and instrumental turns. The Weather Station doesn’t spare a note or sentiment here, resulting in a stunning half-hour of bittersweet folk that stands alongside the year’s very best.

The Weather Station - Everything I Saw by thebrokenspeaker

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