Almost exactly a year since Weaves released their debut LP here comes their second offering Wide Open: an energetic mish mash of sometimes dreamy, sometimes screamy bangers.
Fuelled by a lust for experimentation this is an album where no two tracks are the same and no risk is left untaken. Jasmyn Burke’s songwriting is at the helm of this album’s success. Her free flowing lyricism could easily trick us into believing it’s improvised but there’s a deftness to how firmly the tongue is always in cheek and how conscious Burke is of her listeners mood, pumping out unexpected plot twists at every turn.
Peak surprise is reached on ‘Scream’, which is infused with striking Inuk throat singing from Tanya Tagaq. In spite of the bleak opener “we are living in a time where misery is just common circumstance”, this is an uplifting, anthemic and anarchic weirdgasm of a track in which Burke’s vocals are so deliciously ferocious that her position as a frankly brilliant front woman is undeniable.
In stark contrast ‘Wide Open’ is a gentle and sublime headspace song where Burke’s voice wanders rather than stomps. It’s a beautiful, cerebral track which adds softness to an album full of sharpness and shows off each musician’s ability to bloom into the sound . The energy between Burke and the rest of the outfit is nothing short of romantic.
The upbeat high point of the album comes in the form of ‘Slicked’ a bumpy, hip swaying party tune which is refreshingly girly – if it was an item of clothing it would be a 95% polyester, pink bomber. Burke confidently talks us through her outfit – “I’ve got my nails stuck on… I’ve got my belt on tight and I’m feeling right” – conjuring visions of bedroom mirrors covered in super kooky polaroid shots and pre-party plans of storming up to the love of your life with a bright yellow lollipop and more swag than Olivia Newton John in the closing scenes of Grease.
Weaves are imbued with the power to create an album which understands the grimness of the times we’re living in without being defeated by them. This ability to make an album littered with incisive observations of our time which also makes you want to get up and dance is the 11 track manifesto we need right now. Onwards, with Weaves.
Buy: Weaves – Wide Open
Live: Oslo, 21st November