Tamara Lindeman, the singer/songwriter of The Weather Station, is at it again with her wonderfully earthy, lyrical, contemplative music with a new release, “Tried to Tell You,” this time with some jazz flare blended in with her more familiar folk sound. Alongside her other new release, “Robber,” which definitely takes on the jazz approach with prominent instruments of saxophone and flute, “Tried to Tell You” retains that signature sound with a healthy dose of a poppy drumbeat and interloping guitar strokes. Its straightforward rhythm is a classic vibe that gives the song a modest yet timeless feel, a rhythm that never goes wrong.
Lindeman’s approach to her new album, Ignorance, of which “Robber” and “Tried to Tell You” are the first tastes, is a fascinating departure from the style of her older albums, which was often headlined by classical guitars with an indie folk beat, like “Came So Easy” from her 2011 album All Of It Was Mine. She welcomes new kinds of sounds, like electronics, additional percussion, more piano, and entirely new instruments. She breaks into moments heavily resembling straight pop, and there’s more emphasis on rhythm.
There’s also a new emotional layer present, something vulnerable. Interestingly enough, it seems to be due to the fact that Lindeman aimed to simplify her rhythms. Embracing more straightforward beats, she is able to imbue more emotion in all the other elements, like vocals. This shift in focus could explain the creation of a new musical landscape never before seen from The Weather Station.
Vocally, Lindeman retains that rich, alluring, raw voice with fantastic range, easily shifting from her deep alto notes to a breathy head voice, often within seconds of each other. There is, however, a noticeable difference concerning the emotion infused in her vocals. Now that focus has been shifted away from the rhythm, originally complex but now clean and uncomplicated, more attention can be placed on the voice and lyrics. There’s a more lyrical approach, first of all, in which the vocals retain their narrative flavor but now follow more closely alongside the beat.
The lyrics themselves are plenty full of emotion, full of questioning and anguish and soul-searching. It’s sung from the perspective of someone watching someone else fall apart, likely from a painful relationship experience.
You were afraid of yourself
Afraid that you might call her
That you could not help yourself
And what could I say?
There’s frustration present on both sides: frustration from the recipient, who seems to struggle understanding themselves after this trauma and is wishing for things to be a certain way, and frustration from the singer who seems to feel helpless, trying desperately to get their friend to understand reality, but only in vain.
I triеd to tell you
That is the way that you want her
I triеd to tell you
Like the wind on the water
I will not help you not to feel
To tell yourself it was not real
Lindeman’s new musical approach is a refreshing deviation, and I’m sure fans can’t wait to hear the rest of her new album when it drops in February.