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The Weather Station releases new album Ignorance

On her fifth studio album, Tamara Lindeman pushes herself both lyrically and sonically under the theme of climate grief

From the opening notes of Ignorance, the album is a culmination of Tamara Lindeman’s musical efforts. Using an avant-garde blend of jazz and folk, Toronto-based Lindeman has produced a piece of work that perfectly encapsulates the often harsh realities of present-age climate anxieties. 

Formed in 2006 and headed by Lindeman herself, The Weather Station has become a staple in both the Canadian music scene and the folk community around the world. Ignorance is her fifth album under the moniker and was released to much critical acclaim, with Pitchfork doling out a 9.0 for the project and naming it a “Best New Album.”

According to Lindeman, this record was all about processing climate grief and coping with crisis. And it’s clear that this theme of climate anxiety is at the heart of every song. Lindeman cleverly uses seemingly mundane scenarios (a divorce, a drive on the highway) to convey deeper themes about our relationship to the natural world and its erosion. On Ignorance, the “break up songs” don’t just serve to detail the pain that comes when two people part — they also detail the ways in which we’ve severed ourselves from nature. 

On the opening track, “Robber,” Lindeman sings “Nobody taught me nothing was mine … Looting at dawn, looting at dusk / Hold open the gates for the want with lust.” Again on “Tried to Tell You,” Lindeman laments: “I cannot sell you on your own need,” and “I feel as useless as a tree in a city park / Standing as a symbol of what we have blown apart.” In each of these lines you can hear an intense ache, a crying out for everything we stand to lose as we ravage our own environment. Lindeman’s words are one last alarm bell, alerting us in the best way she knows, to the crisis we are blind to.

In fact, this environmentalist angle frames not just Lindeman’s musical work but also her career as a whole. In a recent interview with the Guardian, Lindeman said, “if I have a small platform, I should push this into the consciousness.” While Lindeman grew up feeling connected to the natural world, it’s only on Ignorance that she has explored that feeling in full force through her music. The album represents an artistic reckoning for Lindeman, with both brave sonic exploration and lyrical prowess. 

Sonically, Lindeman has moved away from the guitar-driven, finger-picked ballads of The Weather Station’s youth. The instrumentation on Ignorance is adventurous. “Robber” features a tasteful blend of horns, woodwinds and even distorted electric guitars all backed by a steady jazz beat. “Heart” features a groove reminiscent of European house music, yet the percussion tone is still soft to fit her subdued vocals and the overall ambiance of the project. Each track on the album is like a treasure hunt, inviting listeners to see if they can catch the little synth embellishments and piano licks tucked away in the folds of stunning arrangements.

But make no mistake: Lindeman’s folk roots are still ever-present. The storytelling in the lyrics to the tasteful string arrangements to her soaring vocal lines pay homage to the hallmarks of the folk genre. As opposed to typical folkish sonic purity, though, this album delves into the type of folk-rock that defines bands like The National.

With Ignorance, Lindeman isn’t just giving us a summary of her worldview. She’s holding up a mirror to help us critically examine how we view and conduct ourselves in the natural world. On “Loss,” she sings: “From inside the confines / Of the story that everything would be alright / It was only so wide you could open your eyes / You could only let in so much light / But you knew the story had never been true.” 


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