Slowly progressing from experimental beginnings to more traditional modes as her creative output took shape, Natalie Mering's work as Weyes Blood grew more straightforward without losing its haunted edginess. Starting out as part of the noise underground, she eventually cleared the sonic detritus away from her songs until they resembled more traditional folk and soft rock on gorgeously produced albums like 2016's Front Row Seat to Earth.
Multi-instrumentalist Mering cut her teeth in the world of noise and experimental rock, playing bass in Portland-based freak rock collective Jackie-O Motherfucker for a time before venturing out solo around 2006. Originally billing herself as Weyes Bluhd, Mering's earliest releases arrived in the form of limited-edition cassettes, a great testing ground for her darkly folky songs that twisted around noisy, electronic undercurrents. Weyes Bluhd embarked on several tours, including a European stint with Brooklyn experimental act Axolotl. Moving to Philadelphia, Mering continued to develop her sound, sometimes playing shows billed as Wiseblood, sometimes joined by a rotating cast of backing players she dubbed the Dark Juices. It was with one incarnation of this backing band that she made her first widely received album, 2011's The Outside Room, released on Not Not Fun Records and attributed to Weyes Blood & the Dark Juices. Among other collaborations, Mering added guest vocals to the 2012 Ariel Pink album Mature Themes and toured with him as well. Ever nomadic, Mering relocated to rural Kentucky for a time to study herbalism, and also spent time living in New Mexico and Baltimore before eventually landing in New York City in 2012. She followed her debut in 2014 with the pristine and autumnal sounds of The Innocents, released on Mexican Summer. EP Cardamom Times appeared in 2015. In 2016, Mering and Chris Cohen co-produced Weyes Blood's second Mexican Summer full-length, Front Row Seat to Earth, to widespread acclaim. Weyes Blood and Ariel Pink collaborated on a 12" EP, Myths 002, which was released by Mexican Summer in early 2017. "Andromeda," the first single from her fourth LP, appeared in January 2019. The album, Titanic Rising was released on Sub Pop that spring. ~ Fred Thomas