The elegiac “Tapes” is the most stripped back moment of Loyalty. Intimate and vulnerable, the track finds Lindeman discovering and listening back to a set of long lost tapes found under a bed. A weary, muffled drumbeat punctuates her memories as a guitar gently picks out seemingly half-remembered chords.
There’s a bruised vulnerability to the vocal delivery: an eerie, pained exhalation of grief, along with a realisation that “I’m older now than you ever were / or ever will become”. Every creaking of a floorboard or scrape of a string adds to the intense atmosphere as instruments begin to layer and overwhelm the vocals – reduced to nothing more than a wordless, bereft howl.
A moving, melancholic though magnificent piece of work.
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Many thanks to Uncut and John Mulvey for this beautiful lead review of The Weather Station‘s Loyalty. (Buy the predictably excellent magazine to read the whole thing, and to get the cover mount CD, which includes The Weather Station song “Way It Is, Way It Could Be.”) Mulvey writes:
Lindeman writes literate songs with unusual precision and sings them in an understated, open-hearted way that lends good poetry the directness of conversation. [The songs are] insidiously constructed, and scored with such subtlety that the craftsmanship of the playing can easily go unnoticed, so engaging are the words and Lindeman’s voice. There are many wise, deceptively simple insights on this wonderful album.