“My god, I thought, what a sunset.” The opening line of The Weather Station‘s “Atlantic” gives the appearance of wonder and escape, the driving rhythm and alluring tension that propels the song giving the momentum creating the illusion of a landscape blurring by via car window. But it’s what Tamara Lindeman sings next that proves she’s not escaping much of anything, instead stuck with the uneasy company of her own anxieties, all of which come flooding in through external sources: “Blood red floods the Atlantic“; “I should get all this dying off my mind“; “I should know better than to read the headlines.”
This isn’t a road that leads anywhere good, psychologically speaking, yet “Atlantic” is always racing toward something bigger and brighter, more thrilling and awe-inspiring. A steady pulse of piano never breaks or escalates, but the arrangement slowly grows and swells around it, bits of fluttering clarinet and bubbly synthesizers punctuating the song’s darkly seductive core. It feels as if the things that torment Lindeman are constantly nipping at the heels of the Toronto group as they push forward; perhaps they’re not escaping those anxieties, but merely using them for fuel toward something mysterious and beautiful.
From Ignorance, out February 5 via Fat Possum
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.