Monday, October 11, 2021

The Weather Station Find Strength Through Music On ‘Better Now’

Sometimes, the songs that catch your attention the most aren’t the ones with all of the bells and whistles – virtuoso musicianship or a seemingly endless vocal range on show.

Sometimes, it’s those which are more subdued, placing an emphasis on the glorious marriage of a single instrument and a passionate lone voice. 

This is what we get a taste of from The Weather Station - frontwoman Tamara Lindeman, bassist Ben Whiteley, guitarist/keyboardist Will Kidman and drummer Ian Kehoe - on ‘Better Now’, featured on the deluxe version of their latest album ‘Ignorance’.

Upon its release in February, the LP was acclaimed for – amongst other things - its environmentally-conscious lyrics, but you’ll find none of those on this track. Instead, we open with a gentle piano and vocals, which don’t often rise above a kind of melodic whisper, and betray a sense of vulnerability.

 Lindeman is somewhat Birdy-esque in her delivery as she tries to navigate the fallout from a broken relationship; in this context, the seemingly assertive title is not a statement, but a question. “Is it better now/I crossed out the first line that I wrote down?/Is it better now/I crossed out the second line that I wrote down?”

Quiet though they may be, it’s clear from the outset that these introductory lines are building up to something else, something louder. This comes in each of the choruses, where Lindeman's voice and Kidman's piano are joined by organ and Kehoe's drums, each providing valuable textual layers and a dynamic shift; as the backing comes to the fore, the vocals go higher still, enhancing their emotional quality. 

In addition, it’s here that Lindeman’s message becomes more defiant after all. “I almost felt pity for you/when you tell me you love me/’Cause I would have done anything for you/But I won’t do anything for you now.” The song’s innate reservedness is still reflected, though, in how Lindeman finds comfort in the smaller things in life, such as the power of music; “All I needed was a room with a window/And a door to close/And a piano”. All of these words leave us with a sense of her immense resolve, and something positive comes out of what is a solemn, intimate experience. Environmentalism might be absent from ‘Better Now’, but one thing is clear; emotional change, taking strength from a time of despair, is present in abundance.


Mason Hawker


Image: The Weather Station, ‘Ignorance’ Official Album Cover (PRESS)

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