Weval - The Weight - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Weval - The Weight

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:8 Release Date:2019-03-01
Weval - The Weight
Weval - The Weight

The Weight is a rich, complex album, one of the most interesting and varied sets I've listened to in a while. It's a bit spaced-out, but also kind of sweaty and grimy. It's like being in a saloon or jazz lounge at some interstellar crossroads. There's a lot going on, and it comes across as really fresh and unique, giving me that rare sense of excitement about the endless possibilities of music.

The opening title track is a sexy, swaggering piece of electro-funk that makes you want to get up and saunter down the nearest steamy sidewalk with your posse. 'Roll Together' is silky smooth, with a hollowed out, plastic tube of a synth line, but like so many of the songs on the set, there's a lot of different stuff happening, and it's constantly shifting and changing. Different types and layers of percussion, including a particularly fun rumbling section through the middle. 'Are You Even Real' is mellow, echoing track with fluttery singing somewhere between Naytronix and sir Was maybe. 'False State of Mind' is similar, but really front loads the electro bass, to great effect.

'Someday' uses bursts of quite listenable distortion to add weightiness to the song, which is generally chaotic and complex, full of moaning vocals, odd clanging melodic percussion, and sassy squelches. 'Heaven, Listen'  sounds like the latest M83, with layered 80s keyboards and an insistent church organ with piles of synth beats splattered everywhere. 'Couldn't Do It Better' is mostly vocoded singing and a strange, hypnotic melody like something out of an old horror movie.

'Doesn't Do Anything' is one of the more acoustic, or analog sounding tracks in the set, which soft vocals and drums, and a focus on real piano. It's a moody, somber piece that sounds like it's being played in a dusty ghost town saloon. The last couple tracks on the set, 'Heartbreak Television' and 'Who's Running Who', come off as hazy, retro-electronic psych, with a fuzzy 70s sepia tone blurring out the edges, a bit like a more grounded, organic Boards of Canada.

'Silence on the Wall' is mellow and groovy, a sort of funky chillwave, with a sparse bassline, breathy vocals, and lots of soothing washes. It blends seamlessly into 'Look Around', which plays around with a wah-wah synth and more of that delightfully muted guitar and bass in the early going. In its second half, waves of frenetic synths pour over the song, and it builds and builds until its finale, with sound exploding in every direction.

And that's a decent description of the album's aesthetic in general. It feels like a big funky machine rolling along while shooting exploratory tendrils of music all over the place. It's definitely mostly relaxing, chill stuff, but it can be surprisingly frantic in places. The variety to be found is astonishing, even more so because it's almost entirely well done. It's one of those albums that just sounds cool and makes you feel cool while listening to it. Is it hipster bait? Possibly, but if so, I've fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker.


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