By Lara McCaffrey
After an extensive soundcheck and two instrumental openers, Weyes Blood finally came onstage. The Hideout that evening had been informal, laid back and not very memorable. However, Weyes Blood made an ordinary Monday night special.
Weyes Blood, also known as Natalie Mering, started off her short six song set with the dreamy “Some Winters” off of her 2014 The Innocents album. Natalie sang this number karaoke style–a dreamy instrumental track off her Mac featuring a warped piano playing arpeggios. When Mering began singing, the Hideout crowd immediately quieted down. Albeit her two woman band had minimal instrumentation (mini-korg, acoustic guitar, computer and a harp), it was almost like she didn’t need anything backing her up. Her voice filled up the tiny venue on its own.
Mering sings in a unique soprano voice with plenty of vibrato. It has a soft, quivering quality to it but is also deep and emotive. Mering closes her eyes while she sings, focused on conveying the meaning of every lyric.
Beyond the power her voice, the instrumentation of her music is quite interesting as well. Mering’s songs are delicate with distortion from electronic effects. Some songs like the folky “Hang On” were played on an acoustic guitar affected by a chorus pedal. Other songs like “Bad Magic” were accompanied by tape hisses or field recordings played off her computer.
Like her music–Mering had a mellow but charming demeanor. In the in between moments of songs, she always acknowledged the audience thanking them for their attention. When her guitar fell over after “Hang On”, she jokingly blamed the tumble on mercury retrograde. Mering ended the set with the simple but sad ballad “Bad Magic.” She thanked the crowd after the last plucks from the harp. “One more song!” the audience begged but Mering turned off her amplifier, to the disappointment of all.