In a sentence:
Human and generous, ‘Ignorance’ not only represents a significant overhaul in their sound, but also the best thing that The Weather Station have made so far.
Ignorance is the fifth record from Canadian folk outfit The Weather Station, a band active since 2006 and over four full length LPs and two EPs over the space of a decade. Over the previous albums, while the songwriting became more focused and engaging and the group did become louder but sonically the group did not change drastically. But Ignorance marks a change for The Weather Station in almost every aspect: sound, songwriting, production quality and even the group’s overall dynamic, moving away from their predominantly folky qualities and opting for something more experimental and ground-breaking with synths, strings and percussion. They’ve also fully adopted the band’s singer, Tamara Lindeman, as their frontwoman.
Igorance starts off with ‘Robber’, a political song about overlooking the robber and his misdeeds, where the title refers to the founders of Canada and the crimes they carried out against the indigenous peoples of the Canadian region in the name of laws and banks. The song has the percussive arrangement of a low-key jazz song with the saxophone, subtle piano melodies, and violins for extra depth. Then, we have ‘Atlantic’, a song about the climate change, ruminating on how we profess to love the world around us but refuse to engage properly with the issue. Ignorance changes up the pace and goes with an upbeat soft rock tune to discuss humility and how the modern society has been established on the value of apathy on ‘Tried To Tell You’. Lindeman is trying to convince the listener to the fact that humans are soft creatures who feel for themselves and for others, and not emotionless metallic robots.
With ‘Parking Lot’, the band examines a different viewpoint to the world we have created. This viewpoint belongs to that of a bird, where a tragic beauty can be witnessed. The violins in the chorus and the twirling piano symphonies and the gentle vocals elevate the message of the song. At the halfway point, we get ‘Loss’, where the synths and the extra vocals act as wonderful components to exalt the instrumentation and explain that the pain of trying to avoid loss is less than the actual loss but “at some point, you have to live as if the truth is true”. ‘Separated’ reflects on how everyone chooses to misunderstand each other on purpose and choose an opposing stance to perpetuate conflict just for the sake of it. This type of communication conducted on social media is akin to a broken relationship. ‘Heart’ deals with being true to oneself but in an apologetic manner in consideration to others’ feelings. Finally, we arrive at the conclusion with ‘Subdivisions’, a song about sticking with what you perceive to be correct, much like our emotions where we misjudge our sentiments as we don’t understand the context correctly.
With only ten tracks on the record, Ignorance follows their previous work insofar that they too were concise in the presentation of the overarching message. But it’s a weird feeling that you get when listening to it, a feeling to want more even though your stomach is already full. It could be due to the fact that a casual listening session of the album results in a lot of the songs blending together, so it feels like it passes by really quickly. Ignoring that feeling for now, this project is well-rounded, with great songwriting, immaculate presentation of the message, wholehearted production, and represents the best the group has done till now. Ignorance is only the start of a new and greater phase in The Weather Station’s artistic journey. (9/10) (Aryan Agarwal)
Listen to Ignorance by The Weather Station here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: Aryan Agarwal, Ben Whiteley, Ian Kehoe, Ignorance, The Weather Station, Will Kidman
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