by Joseph Purcell
Stepping boldly away from her folk roots, Ignorance is an enchanting record that showcases an artist at the peak of her powers
Tamara Lindeman’s work as The Weather Station has always been focused on feelings that truly resonate. Touching on intimacy, existence and love, she weaves narratives that follow the central characters created in her imagination. Lindeman’s music is somewhat primitively described as folk, but, on new album, Ignorance, she elevates herself above this simplistic moniker.
Ignorance is littered with sprawling and boundless gems that cascade around Lindeman’s velvet vocal. Atlantic, the rueful ode to the climate crisis, is charming and reflective in equal measure. Propulsive, whirring guitars intersect the delicate brass interludes as Lindeman muses – ‘I should get all this dying off my mind, I should really know better than to read the headlines.’ Throughout, Lindeman wrestles with the impending questions that lie ahead – all the time anchored as the central conductor amongst the developing layers. And whereas her delicate words once carried her vision, she is now the complete package. Her introspective words are married in unison to the thick layers of instrumentation that crash in waves of warmth throughout the record.
Tried to Tell You continues in a similarly delightful manner. It is a gleaming slice of pop that gently rolls around Lindeman’s sharp pitches. Lindeman captures the love and turmoil of relationships, gradually torn apart by doubt and desire, ‘You were so afraid to try and pull apart the endless rain you thought of as your heart with blood on your hands from the river inside.’ Heartbroken and bereft, she creates an everlasting image of desolation – ‘I’ll feel as useless as a tree in a city park, standing as a symbol of what we have blown apart.’
Uniquely, Ignorance is the first long player on which Lindeman has written on keyboard not guitar. This shines through on the lush tapestries of Separated, an enchanting three and half minutes and a definitive highlight, as Lindeman smartly dispatches a past acquaintance – ‘separated by all the things you thought you knew.’
Ignorance takes all the parts of Tamara Lindeman’s work and enhances it to deliver an undoubted career highlight. She has retained her ability for stories that resonate deeply, but taken the holistic record to a higher level. The changes in tempo, instrumentation and vocal performance marry together beautifully. Five albums into her career, Tamara Lindeman may only just be getting started.
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